German midfielder Toni Kroos feels it was unfair that Messi was second in the Balon d’Or vote, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of Manuel Neuer.
Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Balon d’Or best player of the year with Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer finishing second and third respectively. Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and Copa Del Rey last year, win the award earning 37.66% of the votes. While Lionel Messi earned 15.76% of the votes narrowly beating Manuel Neuer, who received 15.72% votes, to the second spot.
While not many were surprised with Ronaldo winning the coveted award, Messi finishing ahead of Neuer did raise some concerns. Also voicing his concern was Neuer’s German teammate and Ronaldo’s compatriot at Real Madrid, Toni Kroos.
Kroos said: “It’s surprising and a little unfair that Neuer finished behind Messi
“I thought it would be a close call between Manuel and Cristiano.
“Neuer was the best goalkeeper by a long way and Cristiano was the best outfield player. It was between the two of them really.
“Manuel would have been a worthy winner, but Cristiano deserved it, too.”
Kroos was one of the top 10 of the 2014 Fifa Ballon d’Or, finishing ninth with 1.43 per cent of the votes. Kroos alongside third-placed Neuer, Thomas Muller (fifth) and Philipp Lahm (sixth) comprise of the four Germany internationals in the top 10.
Toni Kroos joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich in the 2014 summer window. Kroos played with Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich and along with him won the 2014 World Cup with Germany. Neuer was one of three Balon d’Or nominees alongside Messi and Ronaldo.
There were others who felt that Neuer should have won the award ahead of Ronaldo.
“I think this is unfair,” said Germany’s former World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer. “It seems that in this vote success does not count as much as appearances.”
“Keepers are in a difficult spot. People want to see goals, not the people stopping the goals.”
On the other hand, the German did not get support from his former Bayern teammate Robert Lewandowski, who revealed that he mistakenly voted for Ronaldo ahead of Neuer.
“Voting for Ronaldo instead of Neuer was a mistake,” Lewandowski told reporters. “Today I would vote for Manuel but I voted some time in August. I would vote differently today.”
However, Manuel Neuer himself had no complaints on missing out on the award.
He said: “I am leaving this building with a big smile on my face. It was a winning day for me and it was a success just being in the top three. 2014 was a year with a lot of success and it will forever stay in my memory.”