Created on 11-01-2015 at 15:30 PM
The late afternoon squad workout at the Volkswagen Camp Qatar on Sunday was Manuel Neuer’s last for the time being, as the World’s Best Goalkeeper is off to Switzerland on Monday. “I’m looking forward to the trip and I’m excited,” Neuer told FCB.tv, “I’ll enjoy the evening.”
“Manu was there last year so he knows what it’s like,” recalled Franck Ribéry, who made the last three for the Ballon d’Or in 2013 and was accompanied by Neuer. The keeper is one of the final three candidates himself this time. “Manuel has a big chance,” Ribéry said, while Jérôme Boateng confirmed “there’s no question he deserves it.
Could Neuer win the biggest individual prize in the world game and what do his team-mates, bosses and other experts think? fcbayern.de reviews the expectations and opinions on the eve of the World Player event.
Build-up to the FIFA Ballon d’Or
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “Manuel is totally relaxed about the vote. It’s already unbelievable that a keeper has made the last three. The World Cup should be the decisive factor in the year of a tournament, it’s the most important event. Surveying the expert opinions of the last few days, most of them are going with Cristiano Ronaldo, and if I’m honest, I fear they’re right.”
Matthias Sammer: “This kind of award always involves a subjective opinion. As mine is the only objective one, I can say that Manu is the number one. Unfortunately I don’t get to decide. Whatever happens he’ll cope superbly.”
Pep Guardiola: “Manu is already a winner. It’s already a great victory when they invite you to fly to Zurich. My advice to Manuel is the same I gave Franck 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.”
Franck Ribéry: “Manuel has a big chance. In my opinion he’s the best keeper in the world, he’s won lots of trophies, he was the best German player at the World Cup and he won the World Cup. It’s clear to me who should win, and I hope Manu does it.”
Jérôme Boateng: “Manu is totally likeable and always in a good mood – I’ve almost never seen him in a bad mood, except when he concedes a goal. He’s a great guy, absolutely positive and a leader in our team. There’s no question he deserves it. Whether it happens is another matter altogether. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed, and that’s all we can do.”
Holger Badstuber: “The whole club and hopefully all of Germany are rooting for him. Personally, I’d really like him to win it.”
Joachim Löw (Germany coach): “In recent years Manuel has shaped the position of goalkeeper like no-one before him, and he’s an extraordinary character both on and off the field. He showed the world his exceptional quality at the World Cup. I’d be disappointed if it’s anyone but him.”
Diego Maradona (FIFA Player of the Century): “The man who most deserves the Ballon d’Or isn’t Messi and also not Ronaldo, it’s Manuel Neuer.”
Michel Platini (UEFA President): “In principle it ought to be a player who excelled at the World Cup, so this year it should be a German!”