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Former Ballon d’Or Winner Backs Neuer

Former AC Milan striker, Andriy Shevchenko is backing Manuel Neuer to win this year’s Ballon d’Or award.

Shevchenko won the Ballon d'Or in 2004 after lifting the Champions League with AC Milan and has thrown his full support behind the German goalkeeper on the back of his World Cup win with Germany.

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“I watched the World Cup and watched Neuer lift the trophy. He was fantastic because he not only had to fulfil the traditional role of being the team’s goalkeeper, he also had to act as the last man in defence,” Shevchenko told fifa.com.

“He participated in the distribution of the ball at the back and that was a big help to his defenders. He was fantastic in every way. He’s my choice to win the Ballon d’Or.”

The Ukrainian believes that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel are the slight favourites for the award, but admits he cannot look past Neuer’s fantastic year.  

“I still think Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have a great chance to win. Real Madrid won the Champions League and Cristiano was the star,” he added.

“At the World Cup, Germany and Argentina played a fantastic final, it was not easy for him, but I think Messi played a fantastic World Cup.

“He played for the team. Maybe individually it was not a fantastic World Cup for him, but I saw him play a lot more for the team, he did a great job for Argentina in getting them to the final.

“All three names are potentially great winners, but my choice is Neuer because I think he did something special at the World Cup and also in his season with Bayern Munich. He’s been fantastic all year.”

The announcement for the Ballon d’Or will be made on the 12th of January 2015 at the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich.

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Do you agree with Andriy Shevchenko backing? Have your say in the comments section below.

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