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Sep 4, 2013

Franck Ribery sets sights on Ballon d'Or

From French troublemaker to Europe's best player - Franck Ribery has come a long way in three years.

Franck Ribery believes he can win the FIFA Ballon d'Or after beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the UEFA Best Player in Europe award last week.

Marcotti: Reflecting on Ribery's win

Not since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 has a Frenchman won the prize, but Ribery, 30, could end that wait after he helped Bayern lift the UEFA Super Cup last Friday, off the back of their Treble glory in the 2012-13 season.

"Of course I believe in it. Last year I did what had to be done on the pitch and off it. I was very professional, I had a great time with my team and we really enjoyed it," he told the French media from his national team's training camp just outside Paris.

"The Super Cup did a lot of good to the club. There's not much time left [before the award is voted on]. I have to continue without asking myself too many questions, and still try to enjoy myself."

Ribery, who has managed a goal and two assists from the opening four Bundesliga games this season, added: "It's always flattering, and particularly with this kind of trophy.

"To be elected the best player ahead of Messi and Ronaldo, that's amazing. It's true that I'm really enjoying myself right now. This award is a plus for me in a sporting sense, it gives me confidence.

"Perhaps it puts more pressure on me, but I manage to handle that sort of situation well. I mustn't get carried away. It's up to me to keep working, enjoy myself, and help my team, be it Bayern or France."

Bayern president Uli Hoeness also offered his backing to Ribery, telling BILD: "Who else but him should win it? I doubt there is anyone in South America who has a better chance."

The attacking midfielder, who signed a contract extension with the European champions through to 2017 in June, has regularly stated his desire to end his career in Bavaria.

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