Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has vented at the “injustice” of his failure to win the 2013 Ballon d’Or, claiming he did not have the support of his own country.
Ribery finished third with 23.36 percent of the vote, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (27.99 percent) and Lionel Messi (24.72 percent), despite having won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup with Bayern that year.
The prize was voted for by a journalist from each FIFA member federation, along with the coach and captain of the national men’s team.
And former France international Ribery believes a lack of support in his homeland cost him the honor.
“The Ballon d’Or was difficult,” he told Canal Football Club. “It was incomprehensible. I won all the trophies. I could not do anymore. For me, it’s like a theft, an injustice,” he said.
“I did not have my whole country behind me. I saw with my own eyes the French people who said it was for Cristiano. Did the Portuguese want Ribery or Messi to win? Impossible. Ditto for Argentina.”
Such exploits are generally seen to go hand in hand with winning the game’s greatest individual prize, but Ribery’s contribution was overlooked for that of Ronaldo. Indeed, he did not even finish second, with Lionel Messi pipping him for that spot.
Ribery feels that he was made a scapegoat after France’s shambolic World Cup 2010 campaign, in which Raymond Domenech’s side crashed out at the group stage and even staged a strike against their coach by refusing to leave the team bus. Meanwhile, Ronaldo won zero awards over the 12-month period, besides the Ballon d’Or.