Franck Robery has hit out at the French press for 'stealing' the prestigious Ballon d'Or award away from him at the end of 2013.
The Bayern Munich veteran told Canal Football Club (via the Daily Mail) that it was a variety of critical media reports in his homeland that had put paid to him lifting the signature gong over four years ago.
Ribery had come off the back of a barnstorming 2012/13 campaign as he bagged 11 goals and 23 assists in 43 appearances for the German giants.
Those stats came on the way to helping Bayern lift the Champions League trophy, Bundesliga title, German Cup and German Super Cup during the unprecedented trophy-laden season - a campaign that also earned Ribery the UEFA Best Player in Europe award.
However, it was the one accolade in the Ballon d'Or that still rankles with the 34-year-old forward, and he explained why he felt betrayed by his own compatriots.
Ribery said: "It was as if it was stolen from me. It's incomprehensible. I won every trophy, I couldn't have done more. It was an injustice.
A bit unfair to blame Ronaldo only when second place was Messi, not Ribéry.— Dimitri Vallette (@GodBlessMali) January 8, 2018
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"I didn't have my country behind me. I saw it with my own eyes that the French said Cristiano should win. Did the Portuguese want it to be Ribery or Messi? Of course not."
Ribery was pipped to the award by Cristiano Ronaldo - the Real Madrid megastar's second win during his career - who had only lifted the Spanish Super Cup despite an impressive 55-goal haul.
The ex-France international only garnered 23.36% of the votes cast by those present - a mere 1% behind Barcelona superstar Messi but 4% behind eventual winner Ronaldo.
Asked why he felt the French press had held a grudge against him personally, Ribery went on to add that it was Les Bleus' failure to get out of their group at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that meant he was never going to win the Ballon d'Or.
He added: "In 2010, they needed someone to blame. Everyone in France believed I was the problem – even my parents.
"I can't forget the actions of certain French media. It's a scar that stays with me, it was too much."