The Ballon d'Or is unfair on midfielders, claims Makelele

The former France international has hailed Marco Verratti as a potential winner of the prize in the future and compared his time with Paris Saint-Germain to his Chelsea career
Paris Saint-Germain assistant Claude Makelele claims midfielders are too often unfairly overlooked for the Ballon d'Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the 2013 prize ahead of fellow attacker Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery, with Kaka's win in 2007 the last time a forward failed to lift the trophy.

Makelele believes the dynamic skills required of a modern midfielder means more should be in the running for Fifa's grandest individual prize, telling PSG's official website: "The midfield position is often unappreciated. The Ballon d'Or is often given to attackers, but we should think about midfielders more often.

"The position has changed dramatically. They are asked to defend, be a tactician, a dribbler... this is a very complex role and few players can manage it."

Makelele has tipped PSG's Marco Verratti as one such midfielder who could claim the prize in future, stating his belief the young Italian can become one of the world's finest in his position.

"He's exceptional. When he arrived, I didn't know him very well. After his first training session, I immediately saw he had talent," he continued.

"I don't think we should change him. His innocence is his quality. You must let him mature; he'll learn as he goes.

"His future is in this position. He can become one of the best in the world."

The former holding midfielder, who joined PSG in 2008 from Chelsea prior to taking up his role as assistant coach with the capital club, believes his time in Paris was very similar to that of his career with the Blues, where he joined a project to restore "a soul" to the side.

"I came [to PSG] because I was offered a great project," he added. "The club was then in trouble, but it already had very high goals, but not the necessary means to fulfil them. Gradually, the club began to get results and to dream. QSI [Qatar Sports Investment] then arrived and gave it a new dimension.

"It was a similar context to Chelsea. When I arrived at Chelsea, the club had not won the title for 50 years. We rebuilt the club, gave her a soul.

"We managed to compete with Manchester United and Arsenal, the two clubs that dominated England at the time. We won major titles and showed exceptional strength for three years. Chelsea became a formidable team in England, but also in Europe. They're now one of the best teams in the world."