Ballon d'Or should go to Xavi or Casillas, says Toni Grande

Vicente del Bosque's right-hand man believes a Spanish player should clinch the prestigious award after the team won their third international tournament in a row
Spain assistant coach Toni Grande has stated that one of La Roja's players should win the coveted Ballon d'Or award.

La Furia Roja have become the first side to win back-to-back European Championships and the first to win three consecutive international tournaments following their 4-0 victory against Italy in Kiev on Sunday.

It is believed Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi are frontrunners in the race for the award, but Grande is hopeful that one of his countrymen will secure the accolade.

"It is time for a Spanish player to win the Ballon d'Or, this is deserved," Grande told COM Radio. "I hope Xavi or Iker Casillas get it, because they have less time left to win it than Andres Iniesta.

"Sergio Ramos? He also deserves it, because he can mark a very big era in Spanish football."

And Grande also revealed that Jordi Alba, who played a leading role at Euro 2012, has expressed his wish to represent La Roja at the Olympic Games, despite the fact that he has not yet had a rest after a long season.

"He is an important player for the team," Grande noted. "Fabio Capello asked me where we had found this kid.

"I am sure that Jordi Alba wants to play at the Olympic Games, it is a big honour to represent a country in this tournament.

"Considering his age, he will be fit, and I do not think he will be tired when he returns to Barcelona."