France's Franck Ribery acknowledges the crowd after the international friendly soccer match against Belgium at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels August 14, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule (BELGIUM - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
The Ballon d'Or finalists will be announced soon but the conversation has already started. Usually, pundits question whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is more deserving of the award, but a new face has now entered the contest: Franck Ribery.
French national team coach Didier Deschamps recently told RMC that he thinks Ribery deserves to win the award this year.
"I think Ribery deserves the Ballon d'Or for his performances, his season, and the titles he has won," Deschamps said, according to Goal.com. "He is a player who can claim the Ballon d'Or in the same way as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Franck won three titles with Bayern Munich. Few people win as many trophies in a season."
Ribery was a guiding force behind Munich's treble season that included the Champions League, Bundesliga and German League Cup.
Ribery has also entered the conversation because he is one of the finalists for UEFA Player of the Year Award alongside Messi and Ronaldo. The Frenchman has been vocal about deserving the award.
"I've dreamed about this title for a long time," he said, according to the Malay Mail Online. "Last season I played really well and won huge titles. Why shouldn't I win it? I deserve it as much as the other two."
"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]," he added.
Bleacher Report's Dan Colasimone felt the same way and predicted Ribery to be the winner of the coveted award this season.
"Bayern Munich's resounding success in the Bundesliga and Champions League, and especially their annihilation of Barcelona in the CL semi-finals, means their star man, Ribery, edges Messi for the gong," wrote Colasimone.
Another Bleacher Reporter writer Andy Brassell made a similar case for Ribery.
"The statistical case is good. He is not, of course, a goalscoring phenomenon in the mould of Ronaldo or Messi, but Ribery still managed an impressive total of 13 goals and 22 assists for Bayern in all competitions last season. He was also the understated architect of both goals in the Champions League final," wrote Brassell. "What is rather less quantifiable is the presence that he is for Bayern. His energy is extraordinary, electrifying his team's play in the final third and always putting in a sterling shift on the defensive side of the left channel too-a key feature of that semifinal thrashing of Barca."