Munich - After cleaning house in the club honours department in 2012/13, wing supremo Franck Ribery now hopes his quadruple-winning performances of the previous campaign have been enough to earn him the accolade of being named UEFA’s Best Player in Europe.
In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, Bayern's Gallic genius discusses his chances of taking home the prize, the season ahead and the upcoming UEFA Super Cup showdown with Chelsea FC.
bundesliga.com: Mr. Ribery, it'll soon be decision time. Do you think you can become European Footballer of the Year for the first time?
Franck Ribery: Last season was perfect, so my chances are certainly good. I was consistent. I've done everything I can. I'm tense, but also relaxed. There are not many people out there that would deny me the prize.
bundesliga.com: How do you rate your two competitors Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?
Ribery: You're talking about two fantastic players. Both have scored an unbelievable number of goals - and for a number of years. In contrast, I'm more of a provider, even though I chip in with the odd goal like last Saturday against Nürnberg.
bundesliga.com: How important would this accolade be to you?
Ribery: I would be very happy and very proud about it. I've already been French Footballer of the Year twice before (2007 and 2008), but have yet to receive international recognition. In that respect, it'd be great.
bundesliga.com: And if it doesn't happen?
Ribery: Life goes on. Besides, I'll have another chance at the start of January with the Ballon d'Or 2013 (World Player of the Year). I've got hopes for that too. I've been dreaming of that golden ball for years.
bundesliga.com: You made history with FC Bayern last season by winning a league, Champions League and cup treble. In spite of that, you still give off the impression that you want more. How do you explain that?
Ribery: It's very important to stay highly focused, even if we did win everything last season. We've got a new coach and he needs good results in order to be able to go about his work in peace. So far that's how it's gone down. We're also even more motivated because we're constantly setting new goals that we want to reach at all costs. In my opinion, though, the most important thing is that we continue to enjoy our football. As long as we do that, we will be successful. Of course, the competition in the squad has never been so fierce, but just like last season we have to pull together so we don't jeopardise our goals.
bundesliga.com: What are your goals?
Ribery: We want to build on last season and win more titles. So to defend the Bundesliga title and go as far a possible in the Champions League. And like I said, I've got my eye on the Ballon d'Or 2013.
bundesliga.com: On Friday it's over to Prague for the European Super Cup against Chelsea. Is that an important trophy for your collection?
Ribery: It will be a difficult game because Chelsea are disciplined and well organised. I think they will let us come at them and try to counter us. We want this title and will do everything in our power to win, above all because FC Bayern still haven't won it.
bundesliga.com: Are we allowed to talk about revenge after the Finale Dahoam defeat on 19 May 2012?
Ribery: No. We were clearly the better side back then. Chelsea won on penalties, but that's forgotten about. In life, you have to come again. We proved that perfectly last season. Now it's about winning this game.
bundesliga.com: It's also a feisty meeting for the coaches - Pep Guardiola against Jose Mourinho.
Ribery: That's right. We are there to help our coach so that it's a pleasant experience for him. We will give him our all. I'm confident it will happen.
Interview by Alexis Menuge