Albiol: Casillas deserves to win the Ballon d'Or

The Blancos defender has backed his goalkeeper to claim the player of the year accolade and admitted that he was confident of Euro 2012 glory once Portugal were eliminated
Real Madrid and Spain defender Raul Albiol believes that Iker Casillas deserves to win the Ballon d'Or after enjoying a successful 2012.

The 31-year-old captained both his club and country to major trophies this year, and has been touted as a potential contender for the annual player of the year award.

Albiol feels that his teammate is the best in the world in his position and deserves to be recognized for his achievements over the last 12 months.

"I would give him the Ballon d'Or. Casillas has had a great season," he said according to AS. "He's won La Liga, the European Championship and he's the best goalkeeper in the world, although Andres Iniesta also deserves it."

La Roja went head-to-head with Portugal in the Euro 2012 semifinal, and Albiol admitted that he felt certain his side would win the competition once it had eliminated the Seleccao and the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I was sure that once he was out of the Euros, the title we wanted was ours," the defender said. "He was our enemy on the pitch, although he's also our team-mate."

Finally, the 26-year-old outlined his aims for the forthcoming season, and said that he is determined to take on a bigger role for Los Blancos.

"I want to play more minutes than in the past season."