• Ballon d'Or

Ribery must win Ballon d'Or, says Bayern president

ESPN staff
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Franck Ribery was named UEFA's Best Player in Europe © AP
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Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness feels nobody is more deserving of the Ballon d'Or this year than Franck Ribery.

Ribery, 30, made his return from injury in the Bundesliga in style on Saturday, scoring twice and assisting a further two in Bayern's 7-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen. The victory was the Bavarian's 26th consecutive away game in the league without defeat.

While Bremen coach Robin Dutt was left confused after the match, telling reporters that his side had played against Barcelona, Bayern officials heaped praise on the France international.

"He is a synonym for everything we embody right now," Hoeness told Die Welt.

FIFA have released the three-man shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or, with Ribery, who has already been named UEFA's Best Player in Europe, featuring alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

"Franck is an unbelievable player. There is no other player in the world who deserves it [the Ballon d'Or] more," Hoeness said.

"I have the feeling that some trickery has been done with this vote," he added, referring to FIFA's decision to extend the voting in November.

"I don't have any understanding for it. It would be a massive disgrace should he not win it."

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola echoed Hoeness' words, saying: "Of course, Franck would deserve this personal accolade."

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