The goalkeeper has been likened to the legendary Germany sweeper for his unique ability to play with the ball at his feet and dictate attacks from his own half
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has compared Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to Franz Beckenbauer and tipped him to win the Ballon d’Or.
The Germany star has won the support of a host of high-profile names, including Uefa president Michel Platini. to win the award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Neuer won the World Cup with Germany, but most strikingly showcased a unique ability to play with the ball at his feet, often starting attacks well outside of his penalty area for both club and country.
Huntelaar has been impressed with the keeper’s quality with both hands and feet and added he remains a likeable person off the pitch.
“It’s strange because the goalkeeper is usually the lone wolf in a team,” the Schalke strike said in an interview with Bundesliga.com.
“They’re still important, though, and ‘Manu’ has shown how important he is for his team. He was practically an outfield player during the World Cup – he was the Beckenbauer of the team.
“His performances helped Germany reach the latter stages and I wouldn’t begrudge him the award. You can have a good time with him, he’s a good bloke. I hope he wins, but he’s up against some pretty stiff competition. Let’s see what happens.”
Schalke and Bayern are both currently in Doha, Qatar for a nine-day training camp ahead of resuming their respective Bundesliga campaigns on the back of the international break.