Maradona – Neuer deserves ballon d’Or

The Argentina icon believes Germany’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper has done enough to win the prize given the Liga duo’s “relaxed” attitude to the past year

Diego Maradona feels Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer deserves to win the Fifa Ballon d’Or ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo following his fine performances in 2014.

The Real Madrid attacker is widely regarded as the favourite to defend the prestigious award after guiding the Santiago Bernabeu side to European glory last season, while Messi enjoyed a successful year in which he was crowned all-time top scorer of La Liga and the Champions League after being named the best player at the World Cup.

Nevertheless, Maradona believes neither has done enough to prevent Neuer from becoming the first goalkeeper since Lev Yashin in 1963 to be crowned the world’s best footballer.

“My favourite for the Ballon d’Or? Neither Messi, nor Ronaldo,” the Argentine legend told Radio Habana Cuba.

“For me, Neuer is the one who deserves it the most. I feel that Messi and Ronaldo have taken things a bit too relaxed in 2014.”

The winner of the Ballon d’Or will be announced at the annual Fifa Gala in Zurich on January 12.