Manuel Neuer deserves to win the Ballon d’Or for his outstanding displays for club and country, according to German coach Winfried Schafer.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is many people’s favourite to win the gong after also collecting the award in 2013. But Schafer, the current Jamaica head coach, insists the Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper is the outstanding candidate.
"Manuel Neuer is my number one for the Ballon d’Or, it’s clear. He was 30 per cent of the reason why Germany won the World Cup title," Schafer told Goal.
"Ronaldo won nothing in the World Cup, where Portugal were not a good team. Neuer was not just number one in the World Cup, but also in the Champions League and the Bundesliga. Only in the match against Real Madrid did he suffer."
And when asked whether Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben should have numbered among the shortlist of three, the former Stuttgart and Cameroon displayed a disliking for some of the Dutchman’s traits on the field.
"Robben was good, but I don’t like the way he dives all the time," he added.
"Ronaldo should be number two and Messi number three. Messi scored lots of times to win games for Argentina, he scored in three games and they got nine points."
The 2014 Ballon d’Or winner will announced at a gala ceremony in Zurich on January 12.