But fast forward to 2013 and Best could make up for that disappointment as he has led Ulster to the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table having suffered just one loss, leading him to be named as one of the 15 nominees for this season's ERC European Player of the Year award.
However, despite this form Best is adamant he will not be focusing on the Lions' touring party for Australia later this year, instead choosing to just playing with a smile on his face and letting the rest take care of itself.
"It was very disappointing last time," Best told the Irish Independent. "To have your hopes built up twice and then not go.
"It was a bit of a fixation that year. That was where I wanted to be and, when it didn't happen, it was very, very disappointing.
"And obviously this time, you ask any British or Irish player, they want to be in Australia next June and July but, at the same time, you have to be enjoying it and you have to be playing well to go there.
"I got so focused about it, 'Oh, I must make this tour, this is the pinnacle of rugby'. Whereas this time around, you know, it's about not setting yourself up for a fall.
"I would love to go. It would be a dream come true, but at the same time I've got to make sure I'm enjoying my rugby and playing well.
"Then, if someone thinks you're good enough, you go; if not, then at least you feel you've been enjoying your rugby and playing well."