Franck Ribery on Thursday became the first Bundesliga player to win the UEFA European Player of the Year award since Matthias Sammer in 1996. The France international beat out Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to win the award for the 2012/13 season.
"I'm really pleased to have won this award here today,” the 30-year-old said. “It's a very special moment for me. I'd like to thank my teammates, FC Bayern and the fans, as well as my family and my children. It caps off a perfect year for me.”
On hearing of Ribery’s win, Bayern legend Franz Beckenbauer told Sky Sports: "If one player earned this award this year, then it was Franck Ribery. Franck was not only the best player on the best team, he won everything there was to win with the best team. It is logical that he received the recognition. I believe he'll be brimming with confidence when he plays now. He's a very proud Frenchman and the award will do him a world of good. Maybe we'll even see him step up his performances even further!"