Daley Blind thanks Louis van Gaal after being named in Goal 50

EXCLUSIVE: The Ajax star was delighted to make the prestigious list for 2013-14 and had words of gratitude for his Dutch World Cup boss
Ajax star Daley Blind has spoken of his pride after being selected in the Goal 50 and praised his former Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal.

Blind finished in 36th place in the annual list which ranks the 50 greatest players from the past season - following a magnficent campaign for club and country.

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“I am very happy and proud," Blind told Goal.

"You have many reasons to be proud when you're listed the 36th best player in the world.

"I enjoyed a pretty good and consistent season at Ajax. And I managed to really stand out at the World Cup. I am pleased to have received this chance [with Netherlands] and I am very grateful to the national coach."

Blind, who won the Eredivisie last season, claimed bronze at the World Cup under van Gaal. He was a key player for Oranje, starring in the 5-1 destruction of Spain and scoring against Brazil.

The midfielder also commented on Goal 50 winner Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese just edged out Blind's Netherlands team-mate Arjen Robben to take the prize for a third time.

"I think Ronaldo deserved to win the Goal 50," he noted.

"He's got it all. He's strong, quick and is decisive for each team he plays in. It's fair to say that he deserved to win it.

“It would have been nice for Arjen had he won the trophy and I think he would have deserved it, too. I'd say that his second place is more than deserved when you look at his performances at Bayern Munich over the past few years and his importance to the national team."