Juanito: Xavi, Iniesta and Casillas all deserve Ballon d'Or

The veteran centre-back has tipped the Barcelona duo and Real Madrid goalkeeper for the prestigious individual award after their displays in Poland and Ukraine
Alberto Pinero

Former Spain international Juanito, who was part of the team that won Euro 2008, has voiced his opinion that Iker Casillas, Andres Iniesta and Xavi would all deserve to win the Ballon d'Or following their performances at Euro 2012.

The Barcelona midfielders and Real Madrid goalkeeper played a key role in Spain's successful European Championship campaign, and Juanito feels they are serious contenders to win the individual accolade. 

"All Spaniards and those who ejoyed the national team play want a Spanish player to win the Ballon d'Or," Juanito stated to Goal.com.

"Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Iker Casillas would be the three main candidates in my opinion. They have won titles, and have also been decisive for Spain in several games to help the team to three consecutive trophies.

"It would be a great reward after these impressive four years. It would be important for Spanish football to have a Ballon d'Or winner, and I think it would be deserved."

Nevertheless, the former Betis and Atletico Madrid defender conceded that the Spanish trio will face stiff competition from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to be crowned the best player in the world

"Both Messi and Ronaldo have enjoyed spectacular seasons. Even though they have not won any titles with their respective national teams like the Spaniards, they have scored a lot of goals, and goalscorers are often rewarded."

Messi won last year's edition of the Fifa Ballon d'Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, while Xavi had to settle for third spot.