Paris - FC Bayern Munich wing wizard Franck Ribery says it is “now or never” in his quest to become the world’s best player.
Speaking to French sports daily L’Equipe, Ribery said he felt he had done enough in Bayern’s treble-winning season to win the most coveted individual recognition in world football, the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
“I think I’ve done everything to be the world’s best player,” he said. “I’ve played a very, very good season. It’s either now or never for winning this prize. I can’t play any better than this.”
Certainly the 30-year-old was inspirational in Bayern’s march to three titles last season, earning plenty of plaudits and medals. A greater prize now beckons as he looks to become the first Frenchman since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 to pick up the coveted gong.
Good chemistry with Pep
Yet despite declaring he cannot get any better, he still believes he can make progress under new Bayern coach Pep Guardiola by becoming a more all-round player. The Catalan coach seems set to employ Ribery as a playmaker and the Frenchman is happy with everything he has heard from his new peer.
“Things didn’t really feel right on a human level with (Louis) van Gaal, but it was positive from day one with Guardiola,” he said. “You can feel a mutual respect and recognition.”
Ending career with Bayern?
Such a feeling has also given him a taste for more, and he plans on staying with Bayern until the time comes to call it a day completely. “Both I and the club want me to end my career here,” said the 30-year-old, whose current deal runs to 2017.
“I hope to win lots more trophies yet. If I reach the end of my current contract, then I will have been at Bayern for a decade and that would be really cool.”