Only a blind man would not vote for Neuer to win Ballon d'Or, says Maier

The 70-year-old believes the shot stopper should be the overwhelming favourite to win the trophy ahead of the usual suspects like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Germany legend Sepp Maier believes Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer deserves to win the Fifa Ballon d'Or more than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo and Messi won the previous six editions of the prestigious individual award - with the Argentine scooping up the trophy four times against the Real Madrid star's two wins. 

Maier, though, feels Neuer, who starred for Germany in their 2014 World Cup-winning campaign should be the overwhelming favourite this year.

"Blind people will have decided who wins the award if Neuer doesn't win the Ballon d'Or this year," Maier told AZ.

"He was crowned world champion and voted best goalkeeper in the world. You have to be part of a great team in order to achieve this and be among the best both nationally and internationally. This is all part of it and Neuer has it all.

"Of course, Messi and Ronaldo have been amazing for years. But Philipp Lahm and Arjen Robben have had great World Cups as well.

"Still, why should Neuer not win it? Neuer is a superb player. He is the most perfect goalkeeper in the world. He is great with crosses, always alert rushing off his line and has great reflexes as well. He can do anything. There is nothing for which I could criticise him."

No goalkeeper has won the Ballon d'Or since Lev Yashin won the award in 1963.