Manuel Neuer should win the Ballon d’Or over Messi and Ronaldo

The FIFA Ballon d’Or  is an award given annually to the male soccer player who is considered to have performed the best in the previous year, basically the MVP of all of the soccer world. It is awarded based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams, as well as journalists from around the world. Originally the award was for the best player in the European leagues. Then the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged into one in 2010.

A couple weeks ago, FIFA released the Final candidates for the award which included the following players:

(Player Name, National Team, Club Team)

Gareth Bale, Wales, Real Madrid
Karim Benzema, France, Real Madrid
Diego Costa, Spain, Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois, Belgium, Chelsea
Angel Di Maria, Argentina, Manchester United
Mario Gotze, Germany, Bayern Munich
Eden Hazard, Belgium, Chelsea
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain
Andres Iniesta, Spain, Barcelona
Toni Kroos, Germany, Real Madrid
Philipp Lahm, Germany, Bayern Munich
Javier Mascherano, Argentina, Barcelona
Lionel Messi, Argentina, Barcelona
Thomas Muller, Germany, Bayern Munich
Manuel Neuer, Germany, Bayern Munich
Neymar, Brazil, Barcelona
Paul Pogba, France, Juventus
Sergio Ramos, Spain, Real Madrid
Arjen Robben, Netherlands, Bayern Munich
James Rodriguez, Colombia, Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Real Madrid
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany, Bayern Munich
Yaya Toure, Ivory Coast, Manchester City

Of these twenty three, three were announced as finalists yesterday and they are: Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), and Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona).

Although these three players are more then qualified to win the award I am going to explain why Manuel Neuer should be the first goalkeeper to EVER receive the award.

To begin let’s look into why Neuer’s fellow finalist should not win.

We will start of with last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is without a doubt the best field player in the world right now. In 2014 he has had 50 goals and 18 asissts in just 46 apperances for his club Real Madrid. Not to mention he led the team to a Champions League victory while breaking the Champions League scoring record in the process. Ronaldo seems like the perfect choice, does he not? Well that’s where your wrong. Ronaldo’s sole blemish on his 2014 record was the World Cup this past summer in Brazil. Though Ronaldo has almost completely carried his national side in these past few years his world cup performance was sub par.  Ronaldo scored just one goal in Brazil as his poor Portugal side failed to qualify for the knockout stages. Ronaldo carried his Portugal into the World Cup in 2013 which basically was the clinching factor in him receiving the award last year.  The expectations were high and Ronaldo failed to meet them. This alone is why Ronaldo won’t win the Ballon d’Or this year.

Next we will cover Lionel Messi. Messi is one of the best players ever to play the game, period. He also has won almost 3 Ballon d’Ors (not counting when it was FIFA Player of the Year Award). Messi had an amazing World Cup in Brazil leading his team to the final where they lost to Germany. This season for his club, FC Barcelona,Messi has been phenomenal. In the past weeks alone he has become the all-time leading scorer in both La Liga and the Champions League and he continues to torment defenders at home and abroad. Messi may have starred in the World Cup finals, the actual final itself was a bitter disappointment as he performed poorly in a loss to Germany. Add to all this the fact he has clearly been inferior to Ronaldo, in terms club play, across 2014, recording only 44 goals and 19 assists in his 48 appearances. Messi also didn’t win any titles (multiple tournaments and leagues) this season, something that would have surely boosted his chances. It is pretty clear that Messi won’t win another Ballon d’or this season.

Manuel Neuer should win the Ballon D’or. He is the undisputed starting goalkeeper for both for reigning world cup champions Germany and the German league titleholders Bayern Munich. He made numerous magnificent saves at the World Cup  this summer to play a key role in his side’s title success and was deservedly awarded the adidas Golden Glove as the tournament’s best goalkeeper. Neuer also added two more medals to his collection in 2014 after winning the Bundesliga and DFB Cup double with his club. He does it all: shot-stopping, commanding his area, organizing the defense and even launching attacks with his feet. He does it better than anyone else. Neuer is just a beast. He is by far the best goalie in the world and at the same time is the best overall player. He has been amazing all year whether it was for club or country and therefore deserves the award over any other player in the world.

Feel free to comment below. I would love to hear your opinions as well. I will respond to them as soon as I can.

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13 thoughts on “Manuel Neuer should win the Ballon d’Or over Messi and Ronaldo”

  1. The Pele’s, Maradona’s, Cruyff’s and Zidane’s of the footballing world are rightly applauded by many as being amongst the finest footballers to have ever played the game, but selecting ‘the greatest’ is always a choice that falls solely on personal opinion.

    Every generation, a new superstar emerges, and in my mind this generation’s greatest player lays a remarkably strong mark to being the greatest of all generations One who conquers the Impossible. Lionel Messi.

    This Argentinian superstar is capable of feats few can even dream of, and his breathtaking preformance makes him a talent that can only be admired.

    Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer in history. There is no reason why he shouldn’t be deemed victor and be handed the Balon D’ Or for the fourth time.

    1. Thanks for your opinion. Yes Messi is a Superstar. however, this award is for best player of the year, not the best of the generation. Messi was clearly not the best player of the year and therefore should not be given the award.

  2. The stats speak for themselves. Ronaldo: 50 goals 18 assists. He broke the record for most goals in the Champions League, as well as ultimately leading his team to victory. Not to mention, Champions League is a competition that is held at practically the same prestige as the World Cup. He had 3 poor games in the World Cup, but his teammates were not doing anything special to help him, and in all honesty, Portugal never had a chance to win anyway. Neuer, on the other hand, did not win Champions League. He did win the World Cup, but most fans can agree that Germany’s victory was a team win, and EVERY SINGLE player played their part in winning it. Neuer did not have any individual accolades throughout the year, and this is an individual award after all. This is why Ronaldo deserves the Ballon D’Or the most.

    1. You bring up very good points. However, without Neuer the Germans would have been eliminated by Algeria. Neuer kept the Germans hopes alive as he alone picked up the slack of the defenders. Without Neuer Germany would not have advanced and would have been upset by Algeria. He put his team on his back when he needed to and stepped up in big moments, He also is one of the main reasons why Bayern won the title as he rarely conceded goals and this year has set a Bundesliga record by only allowing 3 in 13 games. Neuer stepped up on both National and Club level and for this reason he should win the Ballon d’Or.

  3. Vikram is raising a fair point Zain. Who else can say that they have scored the most goals in La Liga history? Messi might have had a lousy performance in the final World Cup, but that’s just a minor blemish. Messi deserves this award. It’s the perfect way to acknowledge the feat that he has just accomplished

    1. Good Point. However, what else has Messi done besides breaking those records. He was not able to help an elite team win a single trophy. If Messi was able to step up in big moments this season as well as help his team win he would surely deserve the award. But he didn’t, so he doesn’t.

  4. In the most important shot of his life (wc finals vs Germany, I believe it was a free kick in overtime) Messi choked terribly, kicking it a good 10 feet above the goal…
    Add to that Portugal didn’t even make it past group stages, performing worse than even a sub-par team like USA…
    I’d have to agree here that Neuer should win the Balon d’Or

  5. Every player has his stretch of tough times, and no player excels that much in this sport as to carry his whole time on his back, especially in elite level games such as those in the World Cup. Ronaldo’s blemish was pointed out to be his Word Cup performance, yet he, while injured, had to carry the entire team of Portugal on his back. Messi’s blemish was pointed out to be the final’s game of the World Cup, yet he too was carrying an incomplete Argentina team as strikers Sergio Aguero was not fully healed and Angel Di Maria was out the entire game. Meanwhile, Neuer was just another key piece in a star-studded German team. Had he been having a bad finals game or a bad Cup, his German defensive would’ve picked up their games, something that a lacking Portugal team carried by a sole Ronaldo couldn’t do. The point is, the respective teams affected their players, and Ronaldo and Messi shouldn’t be blamed for a poor performance when nobody else could support them as much as the powerful Germany could support Neuer, and that seemed to make Neuer shine more than he deserved, over Messi and Ronaldo.

    1. Very strong points. Messi however, had other elite players helping him out (Higuain, Lavezzi, Zabaleta,Mascherano, Garay). Ronaldo, though he did not have much support, was able to carry his team to the group stage and was still favored to advance. He had the power to carry his team but he failed to. Neuer as I said in my reply to Sayak’s comment was the reason Germany was able to advance. (read that comment as well) This proves the Neuer was not overrated but instead was the reason they won. They were not able to perform as Neuer was. This proves that he should win the Ballon d’Or.

  6. Zain, No one is disputing that Neuer is a great player. However, he simply isn’t on the level of Messi and Ronaldo. Neuer may have kept Germany in a couple of games; however, Messi and Ronaldo have won games constantly for their countries. Germany and Bayern would have had about the same level of success without Neuer. Without Ronaldo, Portugal wouldn’t have qualified for Brazil. Without Messi’s 3 Man of the Match performances in 3 consecutive games, Argentina wouldn’t have won their group.
    It’s also important to acknowledge the failures of the players. Bayern got destroyed by Real in the Champions league, with Neuer conceding several goals. Barcelona lost in the semifinals by one goal, when Messi was injured. When Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey final, Messi was injured (though he was the top scorer in the cup). Ronaldo also had a terrible World Cup, however unlike Messi and Neuer he’s not surrounded with world class talent.
    The award simply has to go to Ronaldo for his great form with club, or Messi for carrying his club and country.

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