Iniesta deserves Ballon d'Or, says Fernandez

The 53-year-old says in his opinion that the Spanish midfielder deserves recognition for his achievements, and has nothing but praise for Lionel Messi
Former France international Luis Fernandez believes that Andres Iniesta deserves to win the 2012 Fifa Ballon d'Or following his good performances for Barcelona and Spain.

The attacking midfielder faces serious competition from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the prestigious individual award, but Fernandez believes Iniesta should be rewarded for what he has done for club and country.

"There is not as much talk about Iniesta as there is about Messi, but I would like him to win the Ballon d'Or. He deserves it for his career with Barcelona and Spain and for his virtues," Fernandez told Cope.

The former Athletic Bilbao coach then went on to praise Messi, and also had his say on Gerd Muller, whose goalscoring record was broken by the Argentine at the weekend.

"Messi is an extraordinary player. He has talent, quality and believes in himself.

"Mulller was a small player, just like Messi. He had a lot of power and was at his best inside the area. He didn't make things look as easy as Messi, though. He was more like [Radamel] Falcao."

Messi has netted 86 goals for club and country so far in 2012.