The Brazilian defender feels his team-mate deserves to scoop the award for his contribution to Bayern Munich's five trophies over the course of 2013EXCLUSIVE
By Hocine Harzoune
Bayern Munich defender Rafinha has claimed that team-mate Franck Ribery deserves the Ballon d'Or over Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
The Frenchman led the Bavarian outfit to an historic treble last term with a string of excellent performances, with Pep Guardiola's side adding the Club World Cup and European Super Cup this season.
And the Brazilian full-back feels that his success at club level means he is more deserving of the award than his rivals.
"Ribery for sure," he told Goal when asked over who should win. "For what he has accomplished this year and what he has meant to the team.
"We have won everything possible and he was a key part of our success."
Bayern have been drawn against Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League this term and Rafinha is expecting two hard encounters.
"There will certainly be two tough games," he continued. "We played them last year in the Champions League and we won one and lost the other. They are a better team now than last year.
"We will need to be at our best to make it to the next round. They're a great team with players like [Mesut] Ozil, [Olivier] Giroud and [Mikel] Arteta."
The former Schalke man also discussed Ligue 1's recent development thanks to Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain's spending sprees, hinting that he could move to France in the future.
"I see the improvement in the league and it is interesting to see teams like PSG and Monaco with many top players.
"I have just renewed my contract with Bayern, so I am focused here for another three years; then who knows?"