Robben: Neuer deserves the Ballon d'Or

The Dutch winger says his team-mate has done more than enough to earn the prize and hopes to see Bastian Schweinsteiger back to his best in 2015

Arjen Robben is hopeful that Bayern Munich team-mate Manuel Neuer has done enough to earn the Fifa Ballon d’Or.

The Germany international lifted the World Cup in Brazil after claiming the domestic double last season and has continued his exceptional form so far in 2014-15.

While current holder Cristiano Ronaldo remains the favourite for the prize ahead of Neuer and Lionel Messi, Robben feels the 28-year-old has earned the trophy.

“I do not know [what Neuer’s chances are],” Robben told Bayern’s official website. “But I can say that it would be deserved for Manu.

“He had a great year. His body language, his strength. If you are standing in front of him as a striker and he makes himself big, that’s impressive. I keep my fingers crossed for him.”

Bayern vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger returned from a long-term knee injury in November and scored his first goal of the season in a 2-1 win at Mainz in the final game before the mid-season break.

And Robben wants Schweinsteiger to get back to his best form as the Bavarians seek to win the treble under Pep Guardiola in 2015.

“Basti is one of our captains, that says it all,” the Netherlands international added.

“He has a difficult period behind him. I hope now that he can really attack again in January. We need him.”

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