Real Madrid have hit out at Uefa president Michel Platini for suggesting the Ballon d’Or should go to a member of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad rather than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo was awarded the accolade in 2013 and is favourite for the honour after helping Real to a 10th European title, with four-time former winner Lionel Messi also in contention after another fine season for Barcelona and having helped Argentina to the World Cup final.
Platini said earlier this week, though, the winner should be “a world champion” — Mario Goetze, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Bastian Schweinsteiger have been shortlisted from Germany — and that has not gone down well in Madrid. A statement from the European champions yesterday read: “In view of the declarations made by Michel Platini concerning the winner of the Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid CF would like to outline:
“Firstly, its surprise at the repeated declarations regarding his personal preferences over the choice of the winner of the Ballon d’Or, particularly given that he is the head of European football’s principal body, where our understanding is that the strictest impartiality should prevail.
“Secondly, the Ballon d’Or is an individual rather than collective prize which is awarded annually to the best player in the world, and we believe that, in order to maintain its prestige, those who participate in the vote should take into account exclusively the individual professional achievements of the players.”
It added: “Finally, we believe Cristiano Ronaldo has without doubt had his best ever professional year individually, and has claimed the Champions League, the Golden Shoe and the record for the highest goalscorer in an edition of the Champions League, as well as the Copa del Rey and the top-scorer award in La Liga.
“In the current season, he has won the European Super Cup, scoring both goals in the match, and is achieving spectacular figures such as his 20 goals in the first 12 matchdays of La Liga, which confirm his great moment of form and ensure that, more than ever, he is deserving of the Ballon d’Or.”
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