‘It was a political choice’ – Franck Ribery still angry about losing the 2013 Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo

Franck Ribery admitted he remains aggrieved by the decision to award Cristiano Ronaldo the 2013 Ballon d’Or after a controversial voting process.

The deadline for voting in 2013 was originally November 15, but it has been extended for the first time in the history of the two-week competition due to a lack of “eligible voters”.

Ronaldo, who was playing for Real Madrid at the time, won his second Ballon d’Or, while Ribery finished third behind Lionel Messi.


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In the 12 months before the Ballon d’Or vote, Ribery played a key role in Bayern Munich’s historic treble, winning the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal.

When the polls originally closed, the Frenchman was a favorite to win the bookmakers ’prestigious award.

“It’s not fair,” Ribery told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s been an incredible time for me, and I should have won it.

“They extended the time for the votes, and something strange happened. I felt it was a political choice.”

Franck Ribery against Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013

Ribery’s 2013 was more successful than Ronaldo’s when he won the treble, including the Super Cup later that year.

In comparison, Ronaldo failed to win any silverware for Real Madrid. However, his strong start to the 2013-14 season was enough to convince voters to choose him over Ribery.

What is Franck Ribery doing now?

Despite being 39 years old, Ribery is still playing competitive football in Serie A for Salernitana whom he joined in September 2021.

The club returned to top Italian football for the first time since 1999 last year and survived relegation with an incredible escape.

Salernitana collected just 31 points which is the lowest point for a Serie A side that has avoided relegation, scoring 18 points in their last 15 games.

“I found great love in it. Everyone lives for football, ”Ribery said.

“When we don’t win, I see the sadness in the eyes of the fans and this makes me so sad. I never accepted defeat. Last season, I understood that it was hard to get safety, but I gave everything to make it happen.

“It’s not like winning a trophy, but that victory will stay forever in my heart.”

The 2022-23 Serie A season will start on August 13 with AC Milan as the defending champion.


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