Today, we learn that Franck Ribery still had plenty of fun at the Ballon d'Or award ceremony despite missing out on the coveted prize, hear about a funny encounter between Jürgen Klopp and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and discover the secrets behind FC Bayern München head coach Pep Guardiola's continued success...
Franck Ribery (l.) preferred to avoid any comment after coming only third in last night's Ballon d'Or vote, although Europe's Footballer of the Year was much more talkative the following day. "It would've been great to win the prize, in particular for the fans, the club and my wife," said Bayern's French wing wizard. It wasn't a night to forget altogether for Ribery, though, as he not only earned his berth in the 2013 FIFA FIFPro World XI, but also enjoyed the company of Ballon d'Or rival Lionel Messi (r.): "[He's] a great guy. We chatted a lot and really had great fun together."
Of course, the Ballon d'Or isn't just about winning prizes; it's also a meeting point for anyone who's anyone in world football. Paris Saint-Germain FC forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (pictured) didn't let this opportunity slip and duly took a few minutes out for a chinwag with 2013 FIFA World Coach of the Year candidate Jürgen Klopp, resulting in a rather amusing exchange. "When are you going to sign me for Dortmund?" asked the Swedish Footballer of the Year, provoking a snappy reply from the Borussia Dortmund coach: "I'd have to sell my whole team to get you!" Once the conversation became a little more serious, however, Ibrahimovic admitted: "I love watching your team play."
Ever wondered what makes Bayern's Pep Guardiola (back) such a successful coach? Thierry Henry (front), who used to work under the Catalan at former club FC Barcelona, has the answer. "You have to go to bed early, and get up early. You have to think football, eat football, breathe football, and go to bed with football," the ex-France striker said. Not much help? Henry did offer up a few more specifics on Pep's winning formula: "You have to sacrifice yourself for the team." There you have it!