Muller: Hard to pick a Ballon d'Or winner

The Germany and Bayern attacker hopes his compatriot wins the award but admits Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo also had “outstanding” years

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller believes it would be tough to pick between his team-mate Manuel Neuer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or.

The Germany goalkeeper has made the shortlist of three alongside the Real Madrid and Barcelona attackers, who have won the last six editions of the award between them.

Muller feels that each of the trio would be worthy winners of the prestigious prize in January and has hailed his club and international colleague’s exploits over the course of the year.

“It’s difficult to say who deserves it the most,” he said at a press conference.

“Manuel became a World Cup winner and had an outstanding year. Ronaldo also had an outstanding year – and Messi too.

“They are unbelievable individuals but I hope Manu wins the trophy.”

Muller went on to say that Neuer is a key component in his side’s defensive unit, which has shipped just three goals in 14 Bundesliga games this term.

“The coach and the defensive players have invested a lot of time in tactics. The discipline and the class are part of it obviously. And we have the upcoming Ballon d’Or winner in goal who does his bit!”

Bayern midfielder Sebastian Rode also claimed that Neuer is capable of winning the award ahead of Messi and Ronaldo.

“Manuel Neuer can absolutely win the Ballon d’Or. People say he won’t because no goalkeeper has won it but that’s not my opinion.”

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