Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has laid a remarkable claim to the prestigious FIFA award for best player in the world, suggesting that he deserves to beat the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to the 2013 title.
The France international says he expects to land the prominent prize for his part in Bayern Munich's most recent successful campaign, which saw the UEFA Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup trophies head to the Allianz Arena.
"I think I've done everything to be the world's best player," Ribery told L'Equipe. "I've played a very, very good season. It's either now or never for winning this prize. I can't play any better than this."
The former Marseille midfielder, however, does not feature among the favourites for the individual honour, which is presented every January to the player who receives the most worldwide votes from international captains, managers and the press.
La Liga stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are, unsurprisingly, once again listed as the outstanding candidates by bookmakers, with Tottenham's Gareth Bale and new Barcelona signing Neymar making up the likely top four players.
Spanish midfield master Andres Iniesta and Bayern team-mate Arjen Robben are also Ribery's major rivals for the Ballon d'Or, while Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic complete a quartet of Bavaria's stars nominated for the European equivalent.
Meanwhile, Ribery revealed he is enjoying life under Pep Guardiola in Germany and says their relationship is totally different from the player's experience working under Dutchman Louis van Gaal at the Allianz Arena between 2009 and 2011.
"Things didn't really feel right on a human level with Van Gaal, but it was positive from day one with Guardiola," explained the veteran, who hopes to stay at Bayern Munich until he eventually retires, when his contract at the German giants expires in 2017.
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