Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel gives Bayern Munich No.1 Manuel Neuer no chance of beating Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo to the Fifa Ballon d’Or.
Schmeichel is pleased to see a shot stopper get recognition at last and feels Neuer is arguably the best in the world in his position, yet is adamant that the Portugal star is the favourite to land the prestigious individual award.
“How can anybody else but Ronaldo win this?” Schmeichel asked in an exclusive interview with Goal. “It’s great that one of the three nominees is a goalkeeper, but I don’t think Neuer can win it this time.
“I think Ronaldo has been too good so I think he’s going to run away with it.
“It’s been long overdue that a goalkeeper made the final three, though. There have been some great goalkeeping performances in the last few years and I think his performances in the World Cup stand out.
“He was also in the running with Arjen Robben for European player last year. Goalkeeping is now at a point where it’s a very popular position. Kids want to play in goal. In the future you’ll see many more nominations for big awards going to goalkeepers.
“Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world by far. You have someone like Thibaut Courtois as well who’s done fantastic. There are many young goalkeepers in the game now. I think goalkeeping in the World Cup was exceptional.”
The winner will be announced at the annual Ballon d’Or gala on Monday January 12 2015 at the Kongresshaus in Zurich.