Iniesta deserved Ballon d'Or more than Messi, says Barcelona legend Luis Suarez

The 78-year-old feels the Argentina international should have been third in line to receive the award behind his Camp Nou club team-mates in 2010

Former Barcelona player Luis Suarez believes Andres Iniesta deserved to win the 2010 Ballon d’Or more than eventual winner Lionel Messi.

The Argentine, who won the award four consecutive times, picked it up in 2010 ahead of Barca team-mates Iniesta and Xavi, despite the latter two lifting the World Cup with Spain that year as well as La Liga with the Catalan giants.

But Suarez, the only Spanish player to win the award, feels Xavi and Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, should have been ahead of Messi in being crowned the world’s player of the year.

"Spain in recent years has done some very important things and any Spanish player could win the Ballon d'Or,” the former Spain coach told Goal.

“[La Liga] also had two very good players at a very high level, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But I think that the year Spain became World champions, Iniesta or Xavi deserved the Ballon d'Or.

“Not only because they won the World Cup, and in the case of Iniesta, because he scored the goal against Holland and also won with Barcelona, same as Messi, but Iniesta also won the World Cup and if you have to value what you have done in a whole year, from June to July, then Xavi and Iniesta did more than Messi.

"We should not become confused, the Ballon d'Or doesn’t say if a player is better or worse than another, it says who played better over the year.

“One player can be inferior to the other but played better over a year. But Messi and Cristiano score and they do extraordinary things. I also had rivalry in Puskas and Di Stefano.”