Ribery keeps his fingers crossed

Ballon d'Or nominee remains hopeful for football's top gong despite tough competition from Messi and Ronaldo.

    Ribery keeps his fingers crossed
    Ribery joined four-time winner Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the three-man shortlist for the honour [Reuters]

    Bayern Munich's France midfielder Franck Ribery has said he is "keeping his fingers crossed" having been named amongst the three finalists for the Ballon d'Or.

    "It's good for me to be named in the three, but we'll have to see, I'll keep my fingers crossed," he said after Bayern's 3-2 defeat to Manchester City with Argentina's Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo also named.

    "I'm happy, happy for me, for the club, for my whole family.

    "But I am a little bit sad for (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) because he's still a great player and he has done great things with Paris Saint-Germain."

    Ribery, Ronaldo and Messi must wait until January 13 when the winner of the 2013 Ballon d'Or will be named in Zurich.

    The Frenchman is hoping to win it for the first time, while Messi has won the Ballon d'Or four times and Ronaldo was the 2008 winner.

    Surprise defeat

    Ribery admitted he was surprised by the Champions League defeat to City, who came back from two-goals down to inflict Bayern's first defeat at home in 19 games since losing to Arsenal in March.

    It was coach Pep Guardiola's first defeat in major competition.

    "I don't know what happened, we played well in the first 20 minutes, we pressed well and we were aggressive, but maybe after that we thought it was too easy," said Ribery as Bayern progressed to the last 16 as group winners.

    "We have to correct that quickly and it starts with Hamburg on Saturday in the Bundesliga."

    Ribery, who was on Tuesday voted France's player of the year, was a key part in Bayern becoming the first German team to win the treble of European, league and cup titles last season.

    In August, he was voted European player of the year, ahead of Messi.

    France have been drawn alongside Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras in Group E for next year's World Cup in Brazil, Ribery said the French must build on their impressive 3-0 win against Ukraine in the play-off.

    "(The draw) could have been worse, but we should not take this group lightly," he said.

    "We need to play like we did recently against Ukraine at the Stade de France."

    SOURCE: AFP


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