Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has claimed that both he and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo would be worthy winners of the 2013 Ballon d'Or.
The duo are considered the front-runners for the award as Lionel Messi, who has won the last four editions of the prize, has endured an injury-ravaged calendar year. Ribery has spoken of his respect for Ronaldo, but feels that his part in Bayern's treble win could see him edge the 28-year-old Portuguese to the title.
"We all know that Cristiano Ronaldo is a super footballer. Naturally, he deserves to win it too," the France international told Kicker. "However, it's a vote based on a whole year and I also have a case for it. People will make the right choice. I'm quite relaxed."
Meanwhile, Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichov, who won the award in 1994, has backed Ribery to see off the competition.
"This year, my view is that Messi has missed a lot of matches due to several injuries," he told RMC. "I personally believe that Ribery will win. He had a great season with Bayern and did spectacular things and he negotiated World Cup qualification with France."