Liga - Platini 'very disappointed' by Ribery snub

UEFA president Michel Platini believes Franck Ribery should have won the 2013 Ballon d’Or and not Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Platini rued the change in voting from the previous version of the award, which was formerly under the discretion of France Football magazine.

Now it is a FIFA award, and Platini believes the criteria to win have changed accordingly - and to the detriment of his fellow Frenchman Ribery.

“I am very disappointed it wasn’t Ribery,” Platini is quoted as saying by L’Equipe.

“Next year we will return to the Cristiano-Messi duel, and in two years we will have Cristiano, Messi, Messi, Cristiano between the years.

“For 50 years the Ballon d’Or has taken into account titles won on the field.

“Now it is more based on the overall performance of the players and that’s a problem.

“Although Cristiano Ronaldo is a great, something has changed since FIFA organised it,” the three-time winner said.

In a different spirit, Lionel Messi, who had won the previous four awards but finished runner-up to the Portuguese in the latest balloting, congratulated his great rival on winning the award.

Asked in the post-ceremony mixed zone about losing out to Ronaldo, Messi was magnanimous and said he understood why Ronaldo cried upon receiving the trophy.

“It is a normal emotion at a time of excitement,” Messi said. “I want to congratulate Cristiano because he was the deserved winner.”

When asked why he felt he did not win this year, Messi was reluctant to say.

“I have nothing to say about that. I think it was a good year for all three of us so I have nothing to complain about and no need to make excuses.

“I don’t know if it would have been different without the injuries. It’s true I didn’t get right until the semi-finals of the Champions League and this year I got injured at the beginning of the season.

“But that has nothing to do with this. Cristiano merits the win.”

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