Knowing that his individual statistics aren’t that impressive when compared to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery is trying to campaign his way to the Ballon d’Or, hoping that combining Bayern Munich’s success over the last year and his aggressive approach to the subject will eventually win over the voters.
The trend right now is pointing towards Ronaldo winning the award for the second time in his career, and the first after four consecutive wins by Lionel Messi. The two, with their more than a goal per match scoring averages usually eradicate any competition and discussion that doesn’t involve only the two of them. Zlatan Ibrahimovic can also be put into the same sentence, but something tells me and most others that he’ll be nudges out of the final threesome.
Ribery won the UEFA player of the year award, just like Andres Iniesta a year earlier, for doing something withing the context of a team, not standing out too much himself. Iniesta didn’t score a single goal as Spain won Euro 2012; Ribery has scored 20 goals in his last 60 matches for Bayern Munich.
In Germany, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller won the player of the year awards for last season. Bayern Munich were perfect, or close to that, but without one dominating player that stole the spotlight. Ribery might be the most talented player in the group in terms of technique, so it was easier to pick him.
I am confident. I have done all I had to. If you look at my performances all year long, I have made the difference. I may not score in every match but I set the defenses on fire. Ronaldo certainly scores more than I do, but we don’t have the same style.
Should he win it? As much as it would be a breath of fresh air into a predictable FIFA gala, team success shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Whether it’s Messi or Ronaldo? That’s a different question, but Franck Ribery shouldn’t be winning the Ballon d’Or for 2013.