Franck Ribery hopeful of UEFA prize
Franck Ribery believes he has a good chance of winning UEFA's Best Player in Europe award, despite facing competition from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.
Ribery, 30, enjoyed an outstanding 2012-13 season as he helped Bayern claim a historic Treble.
The France international could now crown his year when UEFA's Best Player in Europe is named in Prague on August 29.
Three other Bayern players -- Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller -- did not make the shortlist after having previously been on the longlist.
“Clearly, for me, far too little Bayern players are left on the list,” Ribery told Sport Bild. "Take Thomas Muller, who would have deserved it. Thomas has also played a great season, it is a great pity for him."
Ribery, however, believes the exclusion of his Bayern team-mates could increase his chances of winning the award.
He said: "For me personally that is good, even if I feel bad for my colleagues. Messi and Ronaldo have certainly scored more goals than me. But I have won the Treble and titles are always important with such awards."
“Both of them [Messi and Ronald] are great players, but I think that this season I have a great opportunity. The past season I was on the highest level, have been fit all the time and won everything there is to win. Those are good arguments."
Ribery also revealed that he had been approached about joining Barcelona by his France team-mate Eric Abidal during the 2008-09 season.
“Of course, back then, I considered making the switch to Barcelona. They had the best team in the world. But my situation was difficult. I had a contract at Bayern and respected the club, also because of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness, who both are very important for me,” Ribery said.
“But Pep Guardiola also fascinated me. Because he is not only a great coach but also as a great person. All the more I am delighted he joined me at Munich now.”