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The 36-year-old shot-stopper is backing three of his Barcelona team-mates to win the award, while saying he hopes to claim a regular first-team place under new coach Tito Vilanova

Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto does not believe his Real Madrid counterpart Iker Casillas will win the 2012 Ballon d'Or.

The Spain international has been tipped to pick up the prestigious accolade after helping La Roja to win Euro 2012, conceding only once throughout the tournament, while he kept goal for his club side en route to the Liga title.

Pinto is happy that a fellow shot-stopper is in contention for such an award, but aired his belief that three of his Barca team-mates are in a better position to win the honour.

"Casillas has a chance, and it is nice that people consider him for that award," Pinto told reporters at a press conference.

"I am a goalkeeper and Iker had an amazing season, but there are other players who made more of a difference, like Lionel Messi, who scored almost 80 goals, and Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

"The award should go to the player who makes the most difference."

The 36-year-old was then asked if he expected to play a bigger role in the squad under new coach Tito Vilanova after playing mostly in the Copa del Rey under Pep Guardiola.

"That is not something that I should discuss with Tito, he is the one who will make the best decision for the team," Pinto noted.

"If he sees me in shape and thinks that selecting me is the best thing, then that is fine. I will work and he will be the one to make that decision.

"I am ambitious and I will try to claim Victor Valdes' place."

Questioned about Barca's interest in Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez, Pinto said: "Our technical staff knows what is necessary. If he comes he will be welcomed and he will help us.

"But I think that there are very good players in the youth team who can also do a job."

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