No one will say Neuer's better than Ronaldo & Messi in 30 years, mocks Courbis

The Germany goalkeeper has won the backing of several high-profile names in the race for the Ballon d’Or, but his bid has been ridiculed by the Montpellier boss

Nobody will remember Manuel Neuer as a better player than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi in 30 years, according to Montpellier coach Rolland Courbis, who has mocked the idea of the Bayern Munich goalkeeper winning the Ballon d’Or.

The Germany shot-stopper, Barcelona forward and Real Madrid’s star man are the three men in contention to be named the best player of 2014 on January 12.

Messi and Ronaldo have collectively won the last six Ballons d’Or, leaving Neuer as an outsider of sorts, although Uefa president Michel Platini has said a Germany World Cup winner deserves to claim this year’s accolade.

Courbis, however, cannot entertain the prospect of Neuer being considered the best in the world and pointed his finger at Bayern’s four-goal humiliation to Real Madrid at home in the Champions League 2013-14 semi-finals as a reason why any award would be shallow.

“In 30 years, when your grandchildren ask if you Neuer was truly better than Messi or Ronaldo, how could you respond yes to that?” Courbis is quoted as saying by L’Equipe.

“In the most important game of the club season, Neuer conceded four goals against Real Madrid in the second leg of the semi-final of the Champions League.

“The positions in football are like a different profession. But these are not even comparable positions. Being a goalkeeper is nothing like being an outfield player.”

Lahm could be out until March

The defender admits his spell on the sidelines could be longer than expected as he recovers from injury

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has revealed his fractured ankle could keep him out of action until March.

The former Germany international suffered the injury on November 18 and underwent an operation which saw a plate inserted with six screws to secure the joint around the bone.

It was thought he could be fit in time to return at the start of 2015 and while he is yet to rule that out, it appears a later date may be more realistic.

“I won’t be back in January under any circumstances,” he told Bild.

“It could be February, but perhaps March. Luckily I don’t have the pressure of World Cup or European Championship qualifying.

“When the season reaches the key moment I will be back to 100 per cent fit.”

Even without their leader, Bayern appear on course to cruise to another Bundesliga title, their third in a row, after opening up a seven point lead at the top of the table, much to Lahm’s delight.

“It must be noted that this season we have everything under control. We’ve played with such consistency and tactical variation, we’ve never played like this before.

“The title is far from won, but if we carry on like we are then there can only be one winner, Bayern.” 

'Ronaldo has been better than Messi & Neuer'

EXCLUSIVE: The Cornella shot-stopper says that while he prefers Barcelona to Real Madrid, he thinks that the Blancos’ No.7 has been the world’s best in 2014

By Alvaro Jimenez and David Aranda

Cornella goalkeeper Inigo says Cristiano Ronaldo would be a more worthy recipient of this year’s Ballon d’Or than either Lionel Messi or Manuel Neuer.

Messi led Argentina to the final of last summer’s World Cup, where they were beaten by Neuer’s Germany.

However, even though both starred in Brazil while a Ronaldo-captained Portugal bowed out at the group stage, Inigo feels that the Ballon d’Or holder deserves to retain his crown after firing Real Madrid to Champions League glory in May.

Indeed, the Cornella shot-stopper feels that the 29-year-old has been superior to his great rival Messi in 2014, while he claims that it would be wrong for Neuer to land the award given fellow goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been repeatedly overlooked.

“I think Cristiano has been better than Messi and I say that even though I am not a Madrid fan,” Inigo told Goal.

“I like Barca more but I would give it to Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I would certainly not give it Neuer because it was never given to Casillas!”

Inigo was speaking after his side’s Copa del Rey clash with Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Catalans were beaten 5-0 in the Spanish capital, with James Rodriguez scoring twice for the European champions, but Inigo was more taken with the performance of another of the home side’s star men, Isco.

“Isco was certainly the player I was most afraid of,” he admitted. “He’s great. It would have been better if he’d stayed at home!

“But a 5-0 loss at the Santiago Bernabeu for a team of our level is logical, so we just enjoyed the experience of competing with Real Madrid.

“We had the chance to play against the best team in the world and the best players on the planet.”

Muller: Borussia Dortmund must show the balls to avoid relegation

Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up are sitting bottom of the table after 13 games and the Bayern Munich striker says he hopes his side’s rivals can get out of their poor position

Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller has said he is surprised by the domestic crisis currently facing Borussia Dortmund and feels they must show “balls” to escape it.

While Jurgen Klopp’s men have won four of their five Champions League matches so far this term and have already booked their place in the second round, they currently lie bottom of the Bundesliga, having picked up just 11 points from 13 games.

Muller admitted that he did not expect to see last season’s runners-up struggle so much and said he hopes they can start climbing back up the table.

“It takes balls,” he told Sky Sport. “No one expected this. If you look at the situation from the outside, you’re speechless.

“At the beginning you saw them struggle but were still positive, but now you hope for them to pick up each point.

“For German football that is also very important. As you can see, anything is possible in football.

“In the Champions League, BVB are doing great, but in the league they are at the bottom. Crazy – but it’s not our problem.”

Ronaldo, Messi and Neuer deserve Ballon d'Or nominations – Robben

The winger holds no bitterness towards the trio after being overlooked for the final three in the race to be crowned the world’s best player

Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben has paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer by saying all three are worthy contenders for the 2014 Ballon d’Or.

The winger himself had a strong case for inclusion in the final three to be named the world’s best player after excelling for club and country over the past 12 months.

Robben lifted the Bundesliga with his club before helping the Netherlands reach the semi-finals of the World Cup where they were knocked out on penalties by Argentina.

Despite his best efforts the 30-year-old was overlooked by his fellow professionals in the voting, but insists he is not in the slightest bit bitter and instead praised the three men in the running.

“They [Messi, Ronaldo and Neuer] deserved it, because they are fantastic players,” he told NOS.

“It comes down to a vote, so I can’t do anything about it. It’s out of my own hands. I had a great year and did everything I could. But there are a lot of players that really show great things.”

Robben’s omission prompted Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to declare it was a “shame” the man who has scored 23 goals in 51 games in 2014 missed out, but the forward remains realistic over the prize. 

“It’s nice that Rummenigge respects so much and gives me some credit for the successes, but the people have chosen and they chose these three great players.”