The Bayern chief claims the goalkeeper is “a work of art” and fully deserves his chance to cement his place as the finest in his position in the world
Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has described Manuel Neuer as “flawless” and believes the goalkeeper is “entitled” to 2014’s Ballon d’Or.
The Germany shot-stopper is one of three players up for the Fifa award, along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, with the winner to be announced on January 12.
Whereas La Liga’s star attackers have won the award multiple times before, Neuer has never even made the final trio until his performances for Bayern this year and during Germany’s World Cup triumph earned him suitable recognition.
“Of course, it is widely discussed whether a goalkeeper can be the Ballon d’Or winner,” Sammer mused to Sky Sport News. “Manuel Neuer is the complete package – the most flawless there’s ever been.
“He has no weaknesses, he plays the classic sweeper goalkeeper role. He is almost a work of art. Neuer joins a rich tradition of talented Bavarians.
“Messi was a runner up at the World Cup, Ronaldo was a Champions League winner, but becoming a world champion… Neuer is entitled to win the Ballon d’Or.”
Sammer also lauded Bayern’s currently-injured left-back David Alaba – a player he insists is not for sale “at any price” as he looks to establish himself as a leader at the club.
“It is undisputed that Alaba is a fantastic lad,” the club chief added. “He is a little introverted, yes, but I myself am very curious to see if he can take on the leadership role that Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Neuer currently inhabit.
“I trust in him. He is a role model – his work rate is very good and he promotes the identity of Austrian football.
“Financially, we won’t be talking with anyone about him. He’s not for sale at any price.”