France’s Ribéry eyes European football award
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French footballer Franck Ribéry on Monday told a Germany magazine he deserves to be named the best player in Europe. The winner will be announced on Thursday after a live vote to decide between Ribéry and his two rivals.
After a golden season with Germany’s Bayern Munich, Franck Ribéry claims he deserves to be named European Player of the Year as much as the other two contenders for Thursday's award - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ribéry made the shortlist for the UEFA honour after a 2012/2013 campaign in which the French international helped Bayern to a historic triple crown of League, Cup and Champions League titles.
The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award is due to be named on Thursday in Monaco in a UEFA ceremony. And in Monday’s edition of Kicker, a German sports magazine, Ribéry showed just how sure he is of deserving his spot among such illustrious fellow contenders.
"Last season I played really well and won huge titles. Why shouldn't I win it?” said Ribéry in the Kicker interview. “I deserve it as much as the other two,” he added.
Asked to compare his ability with that of Messi and Ronaldo the 30-year-old added: "Each has their own qualities. What (Messi and Ronaldo) do for sure better than me is score goals. They score more often than me, but I set up more goals (than them)."
"I'm already very happy to be among the finalists. But when you have a season like mine you want to be rewarded with such an honour," Ribéry said, adding, “"I've dreamed about this title for a long time.”
If he wins the award, Ribéry will become the fifth Frenchman to attain the honour, joining luminaries such as Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin and Zinedine Zidane.
In his bid to triumph in Monaco, Ribéry has the full backing of his new coach at Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola, who described him as “an incredible player”.
“It is important not just for me but for the club,” the Spanish former Barcelona coach told a news conference on Monday. “For six years he has been one of the top players here, it’s no different this season.”
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Some of Ribéry's best moments on the pitch