'Neuer doesn't deserve Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo does'

Ahead of the Club World Cup, Morocco coach Badou Zaki explained why voted for the Real Madrid forward over Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper


Morocco coach Badou Zaki confirmed he voted for Cristiano Ronaldo over Manuel Neuer and Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or as he believes the Real Madrid forward is the most deserving for his efforts in 2014.

All national team coaches and captains, and one media representative from each Fifa-recognised country are allowed to rank their top three players in the world for the accolade.

Bayern Munich’s Neuer, Barcelona’s Messi and Madrid’s Ronaldo were allocated the most votes for their performances this calendar year. They saw off competition from the likes of Neymar, Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm.

Zaki, who has been in charge of Morocco since May, believes Neuer is getting credit for superb teamwork whereas Ronaldo’s achievements can be directly attributed to his own performances.

“I voted for Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or as he deserved it,” the former Real Mallorca goalkeeper told Goal. “He did stunning things this year such as winning Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

“He also won individual awards like the Pichichi and was the Champions League’s top goalscorer last season, and also the Best La Liga player and the owner of the best goal. What do you need to do to be considered the best?

“As a former goalkeeper myself, I don’t think Neuer deserves to win. Germany won the World Cup with teamwork, not thanks to one player.

“There’s a lot of goalkeepers who were even more brilliant than Neuer but didn’t get the same appreciation from Fifa. Not to mention that Neuer’s own net was plundered for goals by Ronaldo himself in the semi-final of 2014-15’s Champions League.

“Neuer won the Bundesliga and World Cup but Ronaldo also won a very difficult competition, the Champions League, and got lots of individual awards.”

The Ballon d’Or will be handed out on January 12 at a Fifa award ceremony in Zurich.

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