International

Neuer relaxed about award

2015-01-12 13:55
Manuel Neuer (Supplied)
Manuel Neuer (Supplied)
Cape Town - Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says he is "excited" and "looking forward to the trip" to Switzerland, where he will be hoping to beat Liga duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the voting for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.

The Germany international would become only the second goalkeeper to pick up the prize, after Soviet goalie Lev Yashin claimed the honour in 1963.

He will, however, come up against the record-breaking duo who have dominated the award since FIFA took control of it from France Football Magazine.

Messi has won the award four times, three of them in its current format, but Ronaldo is the incumbent and will hope to retain the trophy.

Although the two attackers have been torturing defences for years in Spain, the World Cup winner still has a chance and, according to Football411, expects to enjoy the evening regardless of the outcome.

"Manuel is totally relaxed about the vote," Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the club's website. "It's already unbelievable that a keeper has made the last three. The World Cup should be the decisive factor in the year of a tournament, it's the most important event. Surveying the expert opinions of the last few days, most of them are going with Cristiano Ronaldo, and if I'm honest, I fear they're right."

Although Rummenigge expects the Real Madrid star to take the award, others who have worked with the Neuer think that he deserves it more.

"Manuel has a big chance," said Franck Ribery, who was himself on the shortlist last year. "He's won lots of trophies, he was the best German player at the World Cup and he won the World Cup. It's clear to me who should win, and I hope Manu does it."

"In recent years Manuel has shaped the position of goalkeeper like no-one before him, and he's an extraordinary character both on and off the field," said Germany national coach Joachim Low.

"He showed the world his exceptional quality at the World Cup. I'd be disappointed if it's anyone but him."

"The man who most deserves the Ballon d'Or isn't Messi and also not Ronaldo, it's Manuel Neuer," said Argentine legend Diego Maradona, while UEFA president also backed the big German. "In principle it ought to be a player who excelled at the World Cup," said Platini. "So this year it should be a German!"

The award ceremony will take place on Monday in Zurich.

Read more on:    bayern munich  |  manuel neuer  |  soccer

 

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