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FIFA Gala in Zurich

FCB stars shine brightest at world awards

Bayern won five trophies in 2013, a historic achievement in the club’s 113-year history. In the wake of the momentous triumph it came as no surprise that Germany’s biggest club were the dominant team at Monday evening’s FIFA Ballon d’Or gala at Zurich Kongresshaus. Franck Ribéry finished third in the poll for World Player of the Year, treble-winning boss Jupp Heynckes was voted Coach of the Year and three FCB stars were named in die FIFA World XI for 2013.

“We’re really proud of Franck Ribéry. He won all the important championships and cups available to him at home, in Europe and on the world stage in 2013,” FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told “After being voted best player in Europe, this third place again recognises his magnificent individual performances and the trophies he won with FC Bayern.“

Sammer: Franck is the best

Ribéry came up only just short of a clean sweep of all the awards and honours he could potentially have won in 2013. In the vote for the World Player of the Year among a total of 184 national team coaches and captains and 173 media representatives, the 30-year-old Frenchman came a close third on 1,127 points behind winner Cristiano Ronaldo on 1,365 and the man who took home the trophy for the last four years Lionel Messi on 1,205.

“It's a democratic vote so we recognise that and send our congratulations. But for us Franck is the best,” commented Matthias Sammer from Kuwait, “he won everything and did everything in his power to do so. But others have made their choice. He has a few good years ahead of him yet and could still win it.“

Heynckes wins emphatically

As universally expected Heynckes was the overwhelming choice for World Coach of the Year. The 68-year-old masterminded Bayern’s historic treble of the domestic league and cup and the Champions League, an unprecedented feat for a German club. Thanks to the unique achievement Heynckes earned 1,806 points and deservedly beat off runner-up Jürgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund on 766 points and Sir Alex Ferguson, formerly of Manchester United, on 711.

“I’m delighted to add the crowning glory to my career with this prestigious award. It's something I couldn’t have dreamed of ten years ago,” Heynckes said in his acceptance speech. “Naturally I’m thrilled with the award, as anyone would be. I’ve experienced the lot in almost 50 years in football and naturally it’s wonderful to be here tonight,” continued Heynckes, the first German coach ever to win the trophy.

Nine FCB nominees for world XI

Bayern were also strongly represented in the vote for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI2013. Nine Munich men – Manuel Neuer, David Alaba, Jérôme Boateng, Dante, Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Mandzukic – were on the 55–strong long list for the global team of the year. Neuer, Lahm and Ribéry were ultimately named in the World XI for 2013, becoming the first Bundesliga players ever to feature in the all-star line-up since its inception in 2005.

Rummenigge praises FCB trio

“Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer more than deserve to join Franck Ribéry in the world team of the year. Both made significant contributions to the most successful year in Bayern’s history, and both have made their mark on the club with their fantastic performances as players and their personalities and magnificent character on and off the field,” enthused Rummenigge.

“As a young player you dream of becoming a professional. You develop in small steps and make it into the national team at some point. You have fewer personal goals from then on, which is why it’s such a great honour for me to be voted into the World X1 and to be mentioned in the same breath as other great goalkeepers,” Neuer commented afterwards.