France’s Franck Ribery says only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi seem capable of winning the Ballon d’Or and has voiced his frustration after Bayern Munich team-mate Manuel Neuer missed out.
Portugal’s superstar Ronaldo won the prestigious award for the second year running earlier this month in Zurich with Messi second and goalkeeper Neuer third.
Much to his frustration, Ribery missed out on scooping the 2013 title, also finishing third behind the superstar pair despite strong displays in helping Bayern win that year’s Champions League title.
“I was really angry, but it is the same every year: you don’t know what you have to do in order to win the vote,” Ribery told Munich daily AZ.
The Frenchman questions whether it is even worth a Bayern Munich player bothering to attend the gala award ceremony in the future.
Between them, Ronaldo and Messi have won the award for the past seven years and Ribery questioned what more Neuer could have done to dethrone them after winning the World Cup with Germany.
“It clearly appears that winning the World Cup isn’t enough,” Ribery fumed.
“For the last two or three years, Neuer has been the world’s best goalkeeper and had won titles with the club.
“In Brazil, he was the best goalkeeper and is a world champion, but that’s clearly not enough. I don’t understand it.
“If a Bayern player is again nominated, we should consider whether it is worth travelling to the award ceremony.
“For what? Perhaps to have a photo taken? No! That is just politics for me.
“Every player needs to know: if Ronaldo and Messi are there, the third nominated player doesn’t have a chance.”
Ribery has played for Bayern since 2007 and says he is set to finish his career at the Bavarian giants with his contract to expire in 2017 when he will be 34.
“I’ll have to see how I feel and how my body reacts. I can afford to stay relaxed about it,” he said.
“Perhaps it is important for Bayern that I play here for another year or two after that. We’ll see.”