• UEFA Player of the Year

Ribery tipped to edge Messi, Ronaldo

ESPN staff
August 29, 2013
Ribery was instrumental in Bayern's treble season © Getty Images

Franck Ribery could become the first Bundesliga player to be crowned UEFA Player of the Year award since Matthias Sammer in 1996 when the winner of the accolade is announced in Monaco on Thursday night.

The France international is being tipped to land the trophy after an impressive year in both domestic and European competition - but faces stiff competition from Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ribery told Bundesliga.de: "Last season was perfect, so my chances are certainly good. I was consistent. I've done everything I can. I'm tense, but also relaxed. There are not many people out there that would deny me the prize."

"I would be very happy and very proud. I've already been French Footballer of the Year twice before [in 2007 and 2008], but have yet to receive international recognition. In that respect, it'd be great."

The winger said that both Messi and Ronaldo were fantastic players, who "scored an unbelievable number of goals" for "a number of years". He added: "I'm more of a provider, even though I chip in with the odd goal like last Saturday against Nuremberg.

Ribery's chances of winning the award, which is decided in a live vote by journalists during the Champions League group stage draw, have been aided by the fact Ronaldo has decided to snub the event to play in Madrid's low-profile Trofeo Teresa Herrera friendly at Deportivo La Coruna.

"It is a pity that all is happening at the same time, but Cristiano does not have the gift of bilocation," said a Real Madrid spokesperson. "We would like it if he could be in both places, but it is impossible."

On Tuesday, Madrid's official website had reported that Ronaldo was set to attend the ceremony - but has since had a change in heart.

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