The retired midfielder believes the European and world champion has showcased enough over the past year to stake a valid claim at the coveted accoladeReal Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas to win the Ballon d'Or this year after his stunning performances for Los Blancos and Spain.
After leading Jose Mourinho's team to the Primera Division title, the goalkeeper then helped La Furia Roja defend their European title in Poland and Ukraine.
"The truth is, goalkeepers maintain a different outlook to the rest of the team," De la Red, who retired as a player in 2010 due to a chronic heart problem, told AS.
"To me, saving a goal is just as important as scoring one. Through that, Casillas has done enough to deserve the Ballon d'Or."
Other players thought to be in prime contention for the award are Casillas' Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.