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Why Neuer, not former Man Utd star Ronaldo, must win the Ballon d’Or

| 04.12.2014

Much to the delight of Cristiano Ronaldo alone, Cristiano Ronaldo looks nailed on for a second successive Ballon d’Or, or so say the odds gurus at Ladbrokes.

The Portuguese goal machine is 1/6 to claim the gong ahead of 6/1 shot Manuel Neuer and 7/1 token gesture Lionel Messi, but Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller disputes his favouritism.

He said:

“The Cristiano Ronaldo option would be a bit boring really. I hope that ‘Manu’ comes out on top. He has my vote, even if it does not count.”

Our vote doesn’t count either, but the German onion bag warden has got ours too. Here’s why:

His heroics in the last-16 and quarter-final arguably won Germany the World Cup.

Neuer’s sweeper skills prevented Algeria toppling Die Mannschaft in the first knockout round in Brazil, while a string of fine saves enabled the eventual winners to creep past France in the last eight.

By contrast, Ronaldo flopped in the land of jogo bonito, scoring a solitary goal as his Portugal side were eliminated from a group they were second-favourites to qualify from.

Incidentally, CR7 was also unable to find a way past the planet’s finest keeper on the grandest stage.

The award hasn’t always gone to the most ravenous goal-fiend.

Fabio Cannavaro won it in 2006 after overseeing Italy’s conquering of the world, while Matthias Sammer claimed the gong a decade prior, the same year he helped steer Germany to Euro 1996 glory.

Ronaldo may have been an integral part of the Real Madrid team that won the Champions League, but he was far from the sole reason why they reigned supreme, while he also was unable to prevent Los Blancos’ city foes Atletico Madrid claiming La Liga gold.

Neuer was a fixture in the Bayern team that won a staggering four trophies last term, as well as being Germany’s most consistent performer at the World Cup.

His achievements easily outweigh those of Ronaldo.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Middleton