The French wing wizard had to be content with third place behind FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and the victorious Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF at the awards ceremony in Zurich on Monday evening.
Not much in it
It was a close-run contest, with the votes - cast by 184 national team coaches, the same number of national team captains and 173 media representatives - evenly spread between all three hopefuls. In the end, Ronaldo's prodigious scoring feats for Real over the course of the year earned him the top tally of 1,365 points. Messi, chasing a fifth straight golden ball, finished runner-up on 1,205 points, with Ribery not far behind on 1,127.
It was a disappointing outcome for the 30-year-old Bayern star in the wake of a period of unprecedented success for both himself and the club, capped off by December's in Morocco. The record champions' chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, for one, put a positive spin on it nonetheless, saying: “After being voted best player in Europe, this third place again recognises his magnificent individual performances and the trophies he won with FC Bayern. He won every major competition he took part in at home, in Europe and on the world stage in 2013.”