Wenger hits out at Ballon d'Or obsession

The Arsenal boss believes the prize goes against the essence of the sport and tempts players into playing for themselves rather than the team.
Arsene Wenger has hit out at soccer's obsession with the Ballon d'Or and says he does not want anyone to win the game's most prestigious individual prize.

Debate continues to rage over which player will be handed the award in January, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery the favorites to wrestle the crown from four-time winner and current holder Lionel Messi. But Arsenal boss Wenger said he is completely against the idea of individual prizes in a team sport and says he will fight to bring to an end to the trophy's existence.

The 64-year-old told Telefoot: "Who do I want to win this year? I do not want anyone at all. I am against individual awards. This is an endorsement of an individual which goes against the essence of our sport.  I fight like a mad man against the award, which hurts football. Unconsciously, the player is prompted to favor individual performance over that of the team."

FIFA recently extended the voting deadline for the prize from Nov. 15 to Nov. 29, with the winner of the 2013 Ballon d'Or set to be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on Jan. 13.