Del Bosque steers clear of Barcelona-Madrid 'war'

The 62-year-old feared being dragged into a political debate had he voted for Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or, so backed two other players instead

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has revealed he voted for Andres Iniesta and Xavi to win the Ballon d’Or in a bid to avoid becoming embroiled in a “Real Madrid-Barcelona war”.

Last week, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery were named the three leading candidates for the prize, with fierce debate surrounding who will be crowned the world’s best player.

But Del Bosque, 62, believes the players within his national side have not been rewarded enough on a personal level as a result of their displays for club and country in recent years, so instead backed their respective causes.

“I voted for the Spaniards because I think they have not been sufficiently recognised in the last few years and of course it’s true I don’t want to get involved in a Real Madrid-Barca war,” Del Bosque was quoted as saying by Marca.

“I voted for the Spaniards feeling that they are probably not the best players this year but they represent a generation that won the World Cup and European Championships, but who maybe have not been awarded individually.

“We are in the era of Messi and Ronaldo, but the fact that Spain became world champions with these two playing in their national teams and the Euros with Ronaldo as captain of Portugal is an achievement in itself.”

The winner of the 2013 Fifa Ballon d’Or will be announced on January 13.

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