The never-ending battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo continues early this year as they hope to hoist the “Ballon d’Or” award for a fifth or second time respectively. But what are the chances for Manuel Neuer to shock predictions?
Out of the three candidates, the 27-year-old goalkeeper is the only one with a World Cup win in his resume. Neuer also won the Bundesliga and the German Cup with “Bayern Munich”.
Voted in Germany as player of the year in 2014, he allowed 40 goals in 62 games. The only thing he didn’t accomplish was winning the Champions League after falling 0-5 in the aggregate against Real Madrid.
The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) named him the world’s best goalkeeper. Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea and Keylor Navas with Real Madrid came in second and third.
In an interview with FIFA.com, former Real Madrid star Michel Salgado mentioned that Neuer has earned his nomination by his results.
“It’s tough for a keeper to win the award, but that doesn’t mean to say that he hasn’t had a great year,” Salgado said.
Ronaldo had an almost perfect 2014. He found the back of the net 61 times throughout the year. With Real Madrid he won almost everything. (Copa del Rey, Super Cup and Champions League). A poor performance at the World Cup could hurt his aspirations to retain the award.
Lionel Messi had his fair share of success in 2014. He broke the record for most goals in La Liga (253) and Champions League (72) within the same week. At the World Cup in Brazil most people remember him losing the final against Germany. Meanwhile, being the ”Most Valuable Player“ of that same tournament shouldn’t hurt.
The world will know the answer to this always-intriguing election on today in Zurich, Switzerland.