Uefa president Michel Platini believes Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery could be in line to win the Ballon d'Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The last three Ballons d'Or have gone the way of Barcelona attacker Messi, with Real Madrid's Ronaldo finishing runner-up twice.
However, despite not having appeared in the top three for the award yet in his career, Ribery has been backed by Platini to cause an upset for this year's prize.
"Franck Ribery was voted the best European player, and as such is among the top players in the world. This means he has the opportunity to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or, of course," he told L'Equipe.
This comes only a week after fellow Frenchmen Zinedine Zidane and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri gave their backing to Ribery for the top award.
The 30-year old forward has developed into an outstanding player for both club and country in recent years, helping Bayern to an astonishing treble last season, and will be a key figure for France in Brazil next summer should they get through their World Cup play-off unscathed.