Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery has said politics plays too much of a part in the Ballon d’Or award, and that he should have won the prize this year ahead of Ronaldo.
Real Madrid’s 28-year-old forward picked up the award last Monday evening in recognition for his outstanding 2013 in which he scored 69 goals in 59 games for club and country. It was the second time the Portugal captain has won the award, having previously been named the winner in 2008 when still a Manchester United player.
Ribery played a key role in Bayern’s success in 2013, helping them to win the Bundesliga and German Cup, followed by the Champions League crown at Wembley in May. The beat Borussia Dortmund in the final, but perhaps more impressively, easily saw off Barcelona in the semi-finals with an aggregate score of 7-0.
Speaking to German newspaper AZ Munchen, Ribery said he should have won the award ahead of Ronaldo and Messi.
“I have won everything with the team and individually. Ronaldo won nothing (in 2013). I’m not sad, but it hurts the heart. Do not get me wrong, I am proud to have been there. I feel I deserved this title. There are so many politics,” he was quoted as saying.
He also criticized the FIFIA Team of the Year for featuring too many Madrid and Barcelona players and not enough Munich players considering their achievements as a unit.
Ribery stated: “When I see the top eleven that was chosen – there are only 3 Bayern players there. This is madness! Muller must be there, Alaba, Schweinsteiger, Robben. We won five titles, made history. Who has done that before?
“I’m sure, if Barcelona and Madrid stood in the Champions League final, the team would consist only of players of Real and Barca.”