'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.”

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