Ribery slams Ballon d’Or: Cristiano Ronaldo winning it was all politics

The Bayern winger believes the individual award is no longer decided on achievements and expects Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben to miss out for that reason

Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery feels the Fifa Ballon d’Or is no longer going to the best player in the world and is decided by politics, rather than performances.

The Frenchman was beaten to the prestigious individual award by Cristiano Ronaldo for his 2013 efforts despite guiding Bayern to a historic treble.

Ribery, who is not even in the 23-man shortlist that will be whittled down the three stars shortly this time around, believes the trophy has lost all meaning after witnessing first hand how the Real Madrid star was treated last year.

“I learned a lot during last year’s Ballon d’Or gala. As soon as I got there, I told my wife that I would lose,” Ribery told Sport Bild.

“I saw how Sepp Blatter was hugging Ronaldo and how his entire family was there. I’m not stupid. It was clear that he had to win it. He wouldn’t have brought his entire family with him otherwise.

“It will be the same this year. What can I say about it? Manuel Neuer or Arjen Robben should win it. You can’t disagree with this. Manu has won it all, he is a great guy and he isn’t arrogant. Arjen has played an incredible season in the Bundesliga and then a fantastic World Cup.

“But I fear it will be about politics again. The Ballon d’Or is no longer for the best player. It’s all about politics. Fabio Cannavaro won it in 2006 because he won the World Cup, that’s all.

“I don’t miss the Ballon d’Or. I am not jealous because this award doesn’t mean anything to me any more. I am happy with what I have in Munich.

“When 70,000 fans are screaming my name at the Allianz Arena, I get goosebumps. I can go home happy after that.”

An injury-plagued 2014 played a role in Ribery’s absence from this year’s award, in which Germany and Bayern goalkeeper Neuer, four-time winner Lionel Messi and current holder Ronaldo are favourites.

Goal.com