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Time to drop Granit Xhaka?

Arsenal
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Hoeness: Ribery will not win Ballon d'Or

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has said he believes a conspiracy against the Champions League winners will mean Franck Ribery does not win the Ballon d‘Or.

• Schaaf: Why Ribery should win Ballon d'Or

Hoeness told Munich paper Abendzeitung he felt it "does not suit some people's plans that Bayern win everything."

France international midfielder Ribery has been shortlisted for the FIFA award along with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, with the winner to be revealed at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday night.

Hoeness said: "Essentially, I am of the opinion that Franck more than deserves it. There is no sportsperson who has performed more consistently for both FC Bayern and his national team.

"That's why he more than deserves it. I, however, believe that some people have done things and that he won't win on Monday because it does not suit one or two people's plans that FC Bayern win everything."

The Bayern president also claimed the extension of the Ballon d'Or vote would count against his player, adding: "Essentially, the deadline extension has determined that Franck will not win it."

Last month, Uli Hoeness told Munich's tz of Bayern's plans to scrutinise the vote amid concerns over whether it was democratic.

"We will look at every single vote that came in prior to Nov. 15 and at the votes that came in afterwards."

Ronaldo, the favourite for the award, will fly to Zurich after training on Monday accompanied by Florentino Perez, Zinedine Zidane, Emilio Butragueno and Sergio Ramos.

Speaking after Madrid's 1-0 win at Espanyol in La Liga on Sunday, Ramos told Madrid's official website that Ronaldo would be a deserving winner.

"If I had my way, I would give it to [Ronaldo]," he said. "There are a lot of people who think so around the world. The statistics are there to see, and he has broken almost every record out there. Maybe this year he deserves it more than others."

Messi, meanwhile, will head to Zurich from Barcelona, accompanied by club president Sandro Rosell, vice-presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Carles Vilarrubi, board members Jordi Mestre and Manel Arroyo and director of football Andoni Zubizarreta.

But ex-Barca defender Eric Abidal feels neither Ronaldo nor Messi should win, telling Carrusel Deportivo that Ribery should take the honour after his outstanding performances for Bayern.

"Cristiano Ronaldo's numbers with Madrid are incredible," he said. "But the Ballon d'Or should be for Ribery."

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