Manuel Neuer says he is at a disadvantage in the race for this year’s Ballon d’Or as he is not a “global brand” like fellow nominees Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The Gelsenkirchen native is widely credited with revolutionising the role of the goalkeeper because of his footballing skills and the way in which he serves as a makeshift sweeper, while he is also coming off the back of a year in which he won the World Cup with Germany and the double with Bayern Munich.
However, Neuer does not feel he has much chance of getting the better of Ronaldo or Messi, given the pair’s superstar status.
“I’m proud just to be one of the candidates for the Ballon d’Or,” the 28-year-old told Suddeutsche Zeitung. “The other two players are global brands in their own right and maybe for that reason have an advantage.”
Neuer, though, believes Bayern are more than capable of making up for their Champions League final loss to Chelsea at their own Allianz Arena in 2012 by lifting the European Cup in Berlin in May.
“We missed our chance to win the trophy in our own city,” he added. “So, now we would like to make up for that and win the Champions League in our country.”
Looking further ahead, Neuer hopes to play a key role in Germany’s bid for glory at Euro 2016.
However, he moved to play down rumours that he will hang up his gloves after the tournament in France.
“I haven’t made a decision on that,” he added. “While I am still the team’s No.1 will continue defending the Germany net.”