New Delhi: Louis van Gaal has insisted that this year's Ballon d'Or award should be given to a German player for winning the World Cup in emphatic style. The Manchester United manager also felt that neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi deserves to win the award this time.
The Dutch coach told MUTV, "You always have to win something and the best thing to win is the World Championship. I hope it shall be a German player because they deserve it.”
Then, the Dutch coach hailed the level of competitiveness in Germany's top tier domestic league. “In Germany, the level of the matches in the Bundesliga is also very high,” he added.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss also said that awards are most of the time given to famous players. “Most of the time, it is always the well-known players... I don't think you can compare players in different positions. It is more for the football world than for the other things. I think for that, it is always (Cristiano) Ronaldo or (Lionel) Messi.”
Like in the previous years, Ronaldo and Messi are considered favourites to win the award. The duo have shared the last five between them – with the Argentine picking up four and the Portuguese winning in 2013.
This years short-listed players have already been announced and have a sizeable numbers of German are in the list. Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze are among the 23-man list which also has the likes of Angel Di Maria, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale besides Ronaldo and Messi.
Other players who made the cut are Diego Costa, Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano, Neymar, Paul Pogba, Sergio Ramos, Arjen Robben and Yaya Toure.