'Kaiser Franck' Ribery hailed in Germany
The German media greeted the UEFA Best Player in Europe award with excitement as Franck Ribery became the first Bundesliga player to win the accolade since Matthias Sammer in 1996.
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There had been an expectation in Germany that Ribery would pick up the trophy ever since he was named the only Bundesliga player on the shortlist. After the Bayern Munich midfielder picked up the award -- beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to it in the vote among journalists from across Europe -- with a shy smile, he was proudly praised as the deserved winner of the 2013 trophy.
"Better than Messi and Ronaldo – European Footballer Of The Year: King Franck I," Munich-based Abendzeitung headlined and hailed the France international, who has been at Bayern for six years.
"For him the title is the ultimate dubbing. Le roi? C’est moi," AZ wrote and commented that the Frenchman was now one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or in December.
"The crowning of the rogue," German news magazine Spiegel headlined in a lengthy tribute looking back on his career.
"Ribery is someone who thirsts for recognition. A simple man, like he has said so many times. On Thursday he stood in the rich man’s paradise Monaco, in a dark suit and tie, and thanked his family. Less than two kilometres away from his French home, where he never was adored as much as in Munich."
German broadsheet FAZ headlined "Ribery is king of Europe" and reminded its readers that not only Ribery but also four other Bundesliga players had been on the longlist and finished just outside the shortlist.
"The accolade for Ribery is the next appreciation for the successful Bundesliga year," it said. The paper also acknowledged the decision of those voting to not judge players by goals, but rather "by their general performance and the number of trophies won with the club".
Football weekly kicker also crowned him "King Franck" and said it was a "logical vote not only for Jupp Heynckes", who had praised his former player in a long eulogy for the magazine.
"Over the success of the collective you have achieved this personal triumph," Heynckes wrote. "You were rewarded for your unselfish attitude."
The tabloid Bild summed it all up with the headline: "Ribery is now Kaiser Franck."