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Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reckons that off-field publicity stunts will help Cristiano Ronaldo win the Ballon d’Or this year, Goal reports.
Both men have been selected in the 23 man shortlist for 2014’s award, given to the best footballer on the planet over the course of the calendar year.
When asked whether Ronaldo’s public image and branding would play a part in the voting for the prestigious gong, Neuer gave a surprisingly sniped response…
“I am an athlete, no ambassador of a brand, besides being the first goalkeeper of Adidas. I’m not the sort of person who poses in their underwear,” he told Kicker.
“I hate the red carpet, I prefer the green grass. I feel better on the pitch, trying to improve myself.
“After the games the highlights show mostly the goals, scoring chances, assists. The spectator tends not to remember that as a goalkeeper I make difficult saves at great risk and start moves with my efforts.”
While Ronaldo does market himself more than most footballers, it would be stupid to suggest that his sensational performances on the pitch haven’t warranted individual accolades. He helped win Real Madrid the Champions League last term, and has already notched a jaw-dropping 23 goals this season.
Neuer has earned almost as much praise though for his goalkeeping exploits. His performances at the World Cup were key to Germany’s tournament triumph, and he’s barely put a foot wrong for dominant Bayern Munich side as well.