Franck Ribery Attacks Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Political' Ballon d'Or Triumph‬

Michael WadeAnalyst IIIJanuary 20, 2014

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Franck Ribery has criticised the decision to award Cristiano Ronaldo the Ballon d'Or, claiming the Real Madrid attacker did not deserve it.

A report by German newspaper AZ (h/t Stefan Coerts on quotes Ribery saying:

I won everything I could win with Bayern and individually. Ronaldo on the other hand did not win anything.

I am not sad that I missed out, but it does hurt a bit. I deserved to win the Ballon d'Or.

It was clear that Ronaldo would win it. The voting deadline was extended by two weeks. This had never happened before. It wasn't about football. It was a political decision.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery were on the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery were on the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.Michael Probst/Associated Press

Ribery was part of a Bayern Munich team that dominated world and European football in 2013, winning five major trophies.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, finished the year with no silverware to show as a Real Madrid player, although he did eclipse Ribery when the two are compared individually.

Per BBC Sport, the Portugal international scored 66 goals in 56 appearances over the course of the year and also helped his country qualify for the 2014 World Cup with two match-winning displays against Sweden in the play-offs, including a hat-trick in the second leg.

Ronaldo highlighted his incredible form on his official Twitter account:

Although Ribery was part of the best team in Bayern Munich's history, he was one of many key components in a team unit, rather than the key, which Ronaldo is at Real.

Bayern's greatest strength was their lack of reliance on one particular player. From goalkeeper Manuel Neuer through to attackers Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller, the side didn't lean on any player, which makes it hard to view Ribery as an outstanding individual.

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

The France international also takes exception to the extension of the voting deadline, as reported by Ian Ladyman in the Daily Mail, something Ribery believes gave Ronaldo an advantage, as it allowed for the inclusion of his goals against Sweden in the World Cup qualifiers.

However, after completing a clean sweep of trophies with Bayern—and looking a decent bet to retain a handful of them this season under the expert management of Pep Guardiola—maybe Ribery should focus on what he has achieved rather than what he hasn't.