Bayern star Franck Ribery aims to pick up the FIFA Ballon d’Or
Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery, who won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award only last week, believes he can defeat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award this term. Ribery is among the few Frenchman who have come close to winning the coveted football award since Zinedine Zidane won it in 1998.
Under the guidance of Bayern Munich’s new manager Pep Guardiola the 30-year-old France international helped Bayern Munich to the UEFA Super Cup last Friday. Ribery, who is fresh from a glorious treble-winning season, his form from last season was very “professional”.
“Of course I believe in it. Last year I did what had to be done on the pitch and off it. I was very professional, I had a great time with my team and we really enjoyed it,” Ribery told reporters at the national team’s training camp on Wednesday.
“The Super Cup did a lot of good to the club. There's not much time left [before the award is voted on]. I have to continue without asking myself too many questions, and still try to enjoy myself.”
Ribery has kicked off the new season with flying form. The Frenchman has a goal and two assists in the first four Bundesliga matches. Ribery is being utilized in the traditional place of Messi, which means the forward will be seen scoring more goals and assists this season.
“It's always flattering, and particularly with this kind of trophy,” Ribery added. “To be elected the best player ahead of Messi and Ronaldo, that's amazing. It's true that I'm really enjoying myself right now. This award is a plus for me in a sporting sense, it gives me confidence.
“Perhaps it puts more pressure on me, but I manage to handle that sort of situation well. I mustn't get carried away. It's up to me to keep working, enjoy myself, and help my team, be it Bayern or France.”
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness showered praise upon his player and backed Ribery for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award by telling Bild: “Who else but him should win it? I doubt there is anyone in South America who has a better chance.”
Bayern Munich made moved in to make sure Ribery commits his future to the club on the long term. Ribery, who can play on both wings, inked a contract extension with Bayern Munich which will keep the 30-year-old at the club till the summers of 2017.