Neuer gets Ballon d'Or dig at Ronaldo: I don't do underpants ads

The German spoke of his chances of beating the holder to the Fifa upcoming award for best player in the world, suggesting it takes more than commercial savviness to win

Manuel Neuer believes he has a chance of winning the upcoming Ballon d’Or, despite not having brand awareness like Cristiano Ronaldo has with his underwear range.

The Bayern Munich goalkeeper is a genuine candidate to win the award, having lifted the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal titles before getting his hands on the World Cup with Germany in Brazil in July.

He faces stiff competition from the Champions League winner Ronaldo, however, who is hoping to pick up the individual accolade for the second consecutive year.

When asked about the affect of the Real Madrid forward’s image on the voting, Neuer admitted that while it is more difficult to get noticed when playing in his position he will keep to his efforts on the pitch.

“I am an athlete, no ambassador of a brand, besides being the first goalkeeper of Adidas. I’m not the sort of person who poses in their underwear,” he told Kicker.

“I hate the red carpet, I prefer the green grass. I feel better on the pitch, trying to improve myself.

“After the games the highlights show mostly the goals, scoring chances, assists. The spectator tends not to remember that as a goalkeeper I make difficult saves at great risk and start moves with my efforts.”

Neuer went on to discuss the scale of Germany’s World Cup triumph in terms of his career, ranking it higher than his achievements at club level.

“History of football, something unforgettable,” he added. “Even the successes with Bayern Munich are moved to second place.”

The goalkeeper is unavailable for Germany’s visit to face overthrown world champions Spain in a friendly on Tuesday but is adamant that there is plenty of work for the squad ahead of Euro 2016.

“We have to work hard on the way that we play so that the team we are building now can compete at the peak of our ability at the tournament.”

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