Thiago Alcantara has claimed Franck Ribery should win the Ballon d'Or over Lionel Messi after Bayern Munich's trophy haul in 2013.
Ribery, who won UEFA's Best Player in Europe award having helped his team to an unprecedented German treble, is in the final three-man shortlist alongside Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"He (Messi) is the best in the world, but I understand the sport is a team game and Ribery has won more titles this year. I think that it is why he should win the Ballon d'Or," Thiago told reporters. "Messi will always be looked at with a magnifying glass and negative news is always looked for."
Thiago was on the scoresheet as Bayern Munich added to its trophy collection Saturday, winning the Club World Cup final 2-0 against Raja Casablanca.
However, the 22-year-old has dismissed speculation surrounding his future and a potential move back to La Liga, although he admits he misses the good times at Barcelona.
"I have spent six months in Munich and I do not regret my decision. I am happy," he continued. “In my life, I will never regret what I’ve done, but I do miss Barca for the good times I experienced, though I have already said that I don’t regret moving. It’s always this way for players. Barca is a marvellous club and we only form a part of it. No club will ever miss any individual player.”
The Spaniard also defended his former club and said Barca is "playing great".
"With more direct football I see nothing wrong. If they are first in the league, (and) first in their Champions League group, they are fine," he said.