'You can't give an award like the Ballon d'Or to Ribery,' claims Coentrao

The Portugal international has dismissed the Bayern Munich man’s claims on the prestigious prize, while also stating that Lionel Messi has been out of action for too long to win

Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao has rubbished Franck Ribery’s claims on the Ballon d’Or, arguing that “you can’t give an award like this” to the Frenchman.

The Portugal international believes that the Bayern Munich ace should not be mentioned in the same breath as the two other players shortlisted for the accolade, compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

Even then, Coentrao is of the opinion that there is only one obvious choice for this year’s Ballon d’Or, given Argentina’s finest has been plagued by injuries in 2013.

“Messi is an excellent player, but he has been out of action a long time,” the full-back told A Bola. “And you can’t give an award like this to Ribery, who only scored 22 goals.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has always been at the top of his game and scored [more than] twice as many.”

The winner of the 2013 Ballon d’Or will be announced at a special ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on January 13.

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