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The influential midfielder has taken the time to praise the Real Madrid shot-stopper after they received the Prince of Asturias award

Barcelona midfielder Xavi feels that fellow Spain international Iker Casillas should be among the candidates to win the Fifa Ballon d'Or.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are seen by many as the two favourites to win the prestigious individual award, but Xavi believes Casillas should not be written off either.

"It's true that he's a bit boring," laughed the Barca midfielder to Antena 3.

"He is the type of player who unites a team, though. I don't think there's any need to discuss his footballing qualities.

"Evidently Iker should be among the candidates to win the Ballon d'Or."

Casillas and Xavi jointly won the Prince of Asturias prize, which recognises those who have made notable achievements in humanities, sciences or public affairs, and the playmaker believes the way they re-united Spain's national team after the Clasico controversies played a key role in their recognition.

"I think that had a lot to do with it. There was more tension than was normal and I'm sure that the way we eased that tension helped us win this prize.

"We just spoke about the issues and then that was it. [Carles] Puyol, Vicente del Bosque and a lot of our Spain team-mates were also important."

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