The 41-year-old believes the France international was unfortunate to finish third at the gala in Zurich but hailed the achievements of winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo scooped the honor ahead of Lionel Messi, with the Bayern Munich star having to settle for the final spot on the podium despite winning the treble in 2012-13.
Ribery has hit out at Ronaldo’s victory, arguing it was politically motivated and expressing that he felt more deserving of the award than the Portuguese star.
But Zidane was keen to highlight the impressive displays of his Madrid star, while also expressing sympathy for his fellow countryman.
“For what Franck Ribery did last season - he certainly deserved something,” Zidane told Canal +. “But we will not be screaming about a scandal. Today there are three criteria for winning an award and we have to clarify this. It should not be down to what the player does for his club, his image and what he does individually.
“For me, the award should only be won on what the player does on the pitch. Franck was outstanding, but the difference is that Cristiano scored 69 goals. To do that is something incredible.”
Ronaldo was on target in Madrid’s 5-0 victory over Betis on Saturday, while Ribery and Bayern return to Bundesliga action against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday following their winter break.