Coming up

Don't miss




The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more


Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more


1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more


The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more


Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more


Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more


A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more


Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more


Ribery, Messi and Ronaldo on Ballon d’Or shortlist

© Photo: UEFA

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-09

Franck Ribery, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were announced as the three contenders for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or on Monday. Messi’s injury troubles and a late change to the voting system have made Ronaldo favourite to claim this year’s prize.

France’s Franck Ribery, Angentina’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal will compete for this year’s coveted Ballon d’Or, FIFA announced Monday.

The three-man shortlist was selected from an original group of 23 of the world’s best players, with those missing out including the likes of Paris Saint Germain duo Edison Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the world’s most expensive footballer - Real Madrid and Wales winger Gareth Bale.

Barcelona forward Messi, the current Ballon d’Or holder, has won the competition for the past four years running.

However, injury has seen the 26-year-old ut of action since early November – something likely to damage his chances of retaining the tile.

This could open the door for Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, looking to claim his second Ballon d’Or having first won the competition in 2008 while a Manchester United player.

Ronaldo’s year?

Despite his phenomenal record in recent years, Ronaldo has struggled to step out of Messi’s shadow. But with the Argentinean suffering an injury-hit season and Ronaldo’s continued impressive form – netting 67 goals in just 56 appearances for Portugal and Real Madrid in 2013 – many believe this could be his year.

Ronaldo has also benefited from a change to the voting system used by FIFA to determine the Ballon d’Or winner.

FIFA gave voters – who comprise national team captains, national coaches and journalists – two extra weeks to choose from the original 23 candidates, and even change preference.

The additional time gave Ronaldo the chance to impress as he helped Portugal qualify for the World Cup last month - scoring a hat-trick against Sweden in the process – and he is now considered the favourite for the award by pundits and bookmakers.

Winning FIFA’s top individual prize could prove extra satisfying for Ronaldo following a bizarre public spat with the organisation’s president Sepp Blatter earlier this year.

Blatter offended the 28-year-old with comments and mimicry when addressing students at Oxford University in England.

Contrasting Messi’s humble, low-key personality with Ronaldo’s apparent vanity, Blatter impersonated what he described as the Portugal winger’s “commander in the field” stature.

Ronaldo responded in a barbed statement on his Facebook page and celebrated a goal in his next match with a mock military salute gesture.

The Portuguese government even got involved to defend its national hero, and the dispute seemed to confirm to Madrid fans and the media that FIFA is biased toward Barcelona, even though Ballon d’Or ballots are cast independently.

Voting change hurts Ribery‘s chances

France and Bayern Munich winger Ribery, meanwhile, also has reason to feel aggrieved with FIFA – the 30-year-old had been the favourite to claim this year’s Ballon d’Or before the surprise change to the voting system was announced.

Nevertheless, he could yet have a chance, having been a key part of Bayern’s phenomenal 2012-2013 season, which saw them claim an historic treble of the Bundesliga title, German cup and Champions League.

Ribery has also already won UEFA’s Best Player in Europe Award this year.
Meanwhile, Ribery's former Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes is up against ex-Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson and Borussia Dortmund’s Jürgen Klopp in the male coach of the year nominees.

Ralf Kellermann (VfL Wolfsburg), Silvia Neid (German national team) and Pia Sundhage (Swedish national team) are the selected trio of coaches for women's football and Nadine Angerer (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) are the three candidates for the FIFA Womens' World Player of the Year award.

The Ballon d'Or will be presented at a ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland, on January 13.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

Date created : 2013-12-09


    Ibrahimovic, Messi, Ronaldo on Ballon d'Or short list

    Read more


    France heave sigh of relief at 2014 World Cup draw

    Read more

  • Football

    PSG and Manchester United reach last 16 in Europe

    Read more