Low: Forget Ballon d'Or, Lahm is best player of the decade

The Germany coach has gushed that the Bayern defender, who captained the nation to their first World Cup in 24 years last summer, deserves more credit for his talent
Joachim Low believes that Philipp Lahm deserves to be considered as the best player of the past decade for his Bayern Munich and Germany accomplishments.

The last seven Ballon d'Or have been won by Cristiano Ronaldo (2008, 2013, 2014) and Lionel Messi (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) with the Real Madrid and Barcelona consistently being pitted against each other when the matter of who is the best on the planet is discussed.

Despite Lahm never having won the Ballon d'Or - or even being among the final three for the award - Low thinks that his 2014 World Cup-winning captain deserves to be considered as the greatest footballer of the past 10 years.

"Away from the Ballon d'Or there should be a player of the decade that Fifa should choose sometime soon," he told reporters at the Zurich ceremony on Monday. "They should consider Philipp Lahm for this award.

"He has performed outstandingly in three World Cups - 2006, 2010 and 2014 - where he twice helped Germany to the semi-finals, then last summer he lifted the trophy. For me, he is the best player of the past decade."

Low voted for Ballon d'Or 2014 finalist Manuel Neuer as his No.1 selection, with his now-retired skipper Lahm in second and new international captain Bastian Schweinsteiger in third, and the Germany coach admitted he was gutted his goalkeeper did not win.

"From my perspective, I'm obviously a bit disappointed for Manuel," he added. "He brought in a brand new type of goalkeeping method at the World Cup. This has never happened before, it was something unique.

"Neuer is of course the best goalkeeper in the world. On the other hand, it must be said, Ronaldo and Messi are two outstanding players who bag 50-60 goals every season. Honestly, all three of the players deserved to win the award."

Low himself was voted as Fifa's World Coach of the Year for his role in guiding Germany to their first World Cup since 1990, defeating Argentina in extra-time in the Maracana final.