The Uefa chief joked that the voting extension was to please Cristiano Ronaldo and suggested that a Spanish player should have won after World Cup 2010.
The choice between Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
and Franck Ribery for the Ballon d’Or is the toughest in history, according to Uefa president Michel Platini.
Barcelona forward Messi helped his side win La Liga with his stunning goal haul last season, but
Ronaldo is the current favourite having shone bright
for Real Madrid but lacks any silverware, while winger Ribery starred as Bayern Munich romped to
treble success in 2012-13.
Three-time Ballon d’Or winner Platini is in no doubt as to the favourites for the Fifa accolade, who he is
unable to separate, and joked that the deadline extension for votes could have been for Ronaldo’s
sake after his public spat with Sepp Blatter.
“It seems that the favourites are Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ribery,” he mused to AS . “The first two are very good and Ribery is the one who has won everything.
“They are three great players. The choice of the Ballon d’Or this year is the most difficult in the history of the trophy.
“The voting extension was a Fifa decision, though it happened to coincide with Portugal reaching the
World Cup thanks to three goals from Ronaldo against Sweden.
He added, laughing: “It may be that Fifa has done it to please Cristiano…”
Platini also rued the fact that a Spanish player did not win the award after the nation won the 2010
World Cup, with Messi instead taking home the second of his current four Ballon d’Or titles.
“I do wonder about why [a Spain player didn’t win],” the Frenchman added. “I agree that, in 2010, the
Ballon d’Or winner should have been Spanish. “Andres Iniesta, Xavi… For me, one of them deserved it. Messi won it and he is a great champion. But in 2010, for me, it had to be a player from Spain that lifted the trophy.”
The Ballon d’Or award ceremony takes place on January 13, with voting having closed on November
29 after a two-week extension from the original date.
Posted By Kevin Jasper (@KevinJasper3)