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Ribery Rips FIFA's Ballon d'Or

  • Goal.com, Wednesday, November 26, 2014 4:55 PM
Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery expects teammates Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer to miss out on the 2014 Ballon d’Or because the award no longer goes to the world’s best player, but is instead decided by politics. The Frenchman was beaten to the prestigious individual award by Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo last year despite guiding Bayern to an historic treble.

"I learned a lot during last year's Ballon d'Or gala,” Ribery told Bild. “As soon as I got there, I told my wife that I would lose. I saw how [FIFA President] 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.”

He added: "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.”

Ribery, who endured an injury-plagued 2014, did not make the 23-man shortlist for this year’s award. Ronaldo, Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and Neuer are the odds-on favorites to win.

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