The Bayern Munich winger would have been crowned World Player of the Year had the voting system used until 2009 still been in place
The original Ballon d'Or prize that ran from 1956-2009 was based on the nominations of journalists before the accolade was amended in 2010 to take into consideration the choices of international captains and coaches.
Under the modern-day method, Real Madrid forward Ronaldo was crowned as the best player on the planet even though the results from the football press painted a very different story.
The Bayern Munich winger was clear winner in the journalists' section of the voting, leading the way with Ronaldo in second place and Barcelona star Messi lagging in third place.
Of the international journalists polled, 80 chose Ribery as their player of 2013, with Ronaldo clocking up 48 first-place votes and Messi registering 31.
The Frenchman tallied 135 selections in either first, second or third place, again leading the way with Ronaldo at 127 and Messi with 123.
Despite being the clear choice of the media, the selections of international captains and coaches meant he was eventually relegated to a third-place finish in the overall standings.
But Ribery is not the first player to be sunk by the voting system and a lack of endorsement from the professional game. Wesley Sneijder won the media vote in 2010 but was pipped to the Ballon d'Or by Messi.
Among the traditional football nations, Ribery was the choice of journalists from France, Brazil, England, Germany and Italy. Not surprisingly, Messi and Ronaldo were selected by the Argentine and Portuguese representatives. The Dutch journalist also opted for Ronaldo.