World Football

Franck Ribery 'Confident' He Will Beat Cristiano Ronaldo to the Ballon d'Or

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 08:  French national football team forward Franck Ribery arrives at a harnessed trot race, on October 8, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2013

Franck Ribery is confident he will break up the duopoly that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have formed over the Ballon d'Or in recent years by winning the accolade for 2013.

Back in August, the Frenchman beat both Ronaldo and Messi to UEFA's European Player of the Year award and evidently believes he can repeat the feat given Bayern Munich's success over the last year.

KIEV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 15:  Artem Fedetskiy of Ukraine (L) fights for the ball with Franck Ribery of France (R) during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Play-off First Leg between Ukraine and France at the Olympic Stadium on November 15, 2013 in Kiev, U
Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Speaking to French paper Le Monde, via the Daily Mail's John Drayton, the 30-year-old gave reasons as to why he's ready to go from continental recognition to worldwide star:

I have no fear, 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 defences on fire.

So far this year, I have never failed. I have been good during the whole year with my national team and my club. What we did with Bayern last season was historic.

Ronaldo certainly scores goals, but I do too. He certainly scores more than I do, but we don’t have the same style.

Ribery raises an interesting aspect of the road that voting often follows, citing that goals don't necessarily mean an individual is the best player. After all, how is a defender or indeed a goalkeeper ever to have a chance at the Ballon d'Or if goals are the only aspect being counted?

As the Mirror's Ed Malyon reported at the time, Ballon d'Or voting was extended last week after an apparent low turnout in the voting process. The decision just so happened to coincide with Ronaldo's match-winning performances against Sweden in the World Cup playoffs, something which could have undoubtedly swayed opinions.

However, Ribery seems fairly assured his statistics speak for themselves. In 2013, the Bayern flyer has scored 20 goals and made 26 assists for both club and country, per Transfermarkt.co.uk

According to Squawka, this season has seen the 30-year-old create 34 scoring chances for the German giants, 10 more than their next most creative player, Arjen Robben. That equals an average of just over three scoring chances made per game—all from one player.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUGUST 30:  Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich celebrates with the trophy after victory during the UEFA Super Cup between Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea at Stadion Eden on August 30, 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Shaun Botte
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Meanwhile Ronaldo has made just half that amount, showing that there is indeed a difference in styles between the pair and that the Frenchman is a more selfless player.

At the beginning of 2013, Ribery went three matches without claiming a goal or an assist, but since then the longest the Frenchman has gone without having a direct hand in a goal is just one league match.

As LBC's Archie Rhind-Tutt confirmed over Twitter, Ribery is also unbeaten in Bundesliga matches this year:

The year of 2013 has seen the winger help his club to a treble success, and although the Ballon d'Or is an award handed out for individual merit, it undoubtedly helps Ribery's case to see that his club have benefitted from his talents quite so much.

On the other hand, Ronaldo has 67 goals and 18 assists for club and country in the calendar year, showing the sheer gulf in quantity between the two players and their goal counts.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02:  Franck Ribery of Muenchen takes on Yaya Toure of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England.
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The frequency and volume in which the likes of Messi and Ronaldo score can often turn votes their way, but Ribery remains confident he can pull out a win for "the little guy" this year, at least in terms of global popularity.

Come January, it will become clear as to which talismanic figure has a claim to the title of "world's best," but Ribery will not be losing focus in the interim.

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