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Why Manuel Neuer Should Win The Ballon d'Or

It's only three days until the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala on Monday and here is why Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer deserves to win this year's award.

Read: Five Things You Didn’t Know About Manuel Neuer

Neuer joined Bayern Munich in 2011 after a very successful spell with Schalke 04, who he joined as a five-year-old. He won the DFB Pokal in his final season with Schalke and has since won it twice with Bayern, including the treble-winning season of 2012/13.

Neuer started 2014 on a high, after winning the Club World Cup with his Bayern team at the end of 2013, as part of a Bayern team that looked unbeatable under Pep Guardiola. And, for the most part, they have been impossible to beat.

The only time Bayern have really looked like a losing team was when they came up against Carlo Ancelotti’s counter-attacking Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League semi-finals, where they were embarrassed in a 5-0 aggregate loss.

But with the exception of that defeat, Neuer has not conceded many goals in 2014. In fact, in the current season, Neuer has conceded only 12 goals in 26 matches, keeping a total of 17 clean sheets. His statistics for 2014 over the calendar year for club and country read as follows:

58 matches played

32 clean sheets

42 goals conceded

His statistics are superb and show how he has excelled personally, but it’s the silverware he earned in 2014 that has been truly impressive.

For Bayern, he won the German double of the Bundesliga and the German Cup and, crucially, he won the World Cup with Germany in Brazil - forming part of the first European side to ever win the competition in South America.

He also won the tournament’s Golden Glove and was named in the all-star and dream teams. In addition to this, he was named the Footballer of the Year in Germany.

But, what has earned Neuer his nomination and what makes him stand above all other goalkeepers over the course of recent years, is his achievement in revolutionising the goalkeeper position - where he has performed as a “sweeper keeper” to great effect. Neuer often seems as great with the ball at his feet as he is with it in his hands.

View: Gallery: UEFA Reveals Team Of The Year 2014

The only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or in history is Soviet Union goalkeeper, Lev Yashin, who won it in 1963. The legendary goalkeeper revolutionised what it meant to be a goalkeeper and Neuer has achieved a similar feet in 2014 - and for that reason, he may just be the man to take the Ballon d’Or away from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in Zurich.

Do you think Manuel Neuer can win this year’s Ballon d’Or? Have your say in the comments section below.

Former Ballon d’Or Winner Backs Neuer

32 comments

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