Neuer is already a winner, insists Guardiola

The successful coach had words of encouragement for the World Cup winner ahead of Monday’s ceremony in Zurich

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola feels Manuel Neuer should be proud of himself regardless of whether he wins the 2014 Fifa Ballon d’Or.

The Germany international faces competition from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the prestigious individual award and Guardiola believes he’s a winner even if he misses out on the trophy.

“Manu is already a winner. It’s already a great victory when they invite you to fly to Zurich,” Guardiola was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.

“My advice to Manuel is the same I gave Franck [Ribery] a year ago: go there and enjoy yourself. Don’t bother thinking about whether you’ll win or not.

“If you win it’s good, and if not, that’s good too. Manu should be very proud of himself because it’s a massive achievement to be one of the best three players in the world.”

Neuer could become the first goalkeeper to win the award since legendary Russian glovesman Lev Yashin back in 1963.

The winner will be announced at Monday’s Fifa Ballon d’Or Gala at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, which is due to start at 18:30CET.

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