These are some serious accusations coming from Franck Ribery.
The Bayern Munich flyer has finally lifted the lid on what he feels are the reasons behind him not winning the Ballon d’Or back in 2013 and he is very angry.
Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned the best player in the world, followed by Lionel Messi in second with Ribery having to settle for third place in the football hierarchy.
When you look at the facts it is easy to see where Ribery’s gripes come from.
Bayern Munich were the most dominant team in Europe in the 2012/13 season, they won an unprecedented quadruple of the Bundesliga, Champions League, German Cup and German Supercup.
The French winger was at the heart of everything that was good about Bayern that year and was astonished to learn he had lost out to Ronaldo for the prized gong.
The winger told Canal Football Club that it felt as though the trophy had been stolen from him and blamed the French media for him missing out.
“It was as if it was stolen from me,” he said. “It’s incomprehensible. I won every trophy, I couldn’t have done more. It was an injustice.”
Ribery was integral to Bayern’s Champions League success, serving up two assists in the 7-0 aggregate destruction of Barcelona in the semis and scoring against Borussia Dortmund in the final.
He would have become the only player not named Lionel or Cristiano to win the award since Kaka won it in 2007.
But it wasn’t to be.
And Ribery says that was all because of the French media’s bias towards Ronaldo.
“I didn’t have my country behind me,” he insisted. “I saw it with my own eyes that the French said Cristiano should win. Did the Portuguese want it to be Ribery or Messi? Of course not.”
While it may seem like an outlandish claim, the explanation behind it offers plausible motivation.
France self-destructed at the 2010 World Cup, with part of the squad refusing to train after coach Raymond Domenech banned Nicolas Anelka after a bust-up.
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Les Bleus finished bottom of the group without a win.
Ribery said: “In 2010, they needed someone to blame.
“Everyone in France believed I was the problem – even my parents.
“I can’t forget the actions of certain French media. It’s a scar that stays with me, it was too much.”
On the other hand, Ronaldo did score 55 goals that season.