Ribery rooting for Neuer

Manuel Neuer (Supplied)
Manuel Neuer (Supplied)

Doha - Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery says he is hoping teammate Manuel Neuer will become the first goalkeeper to be elected world footballer of the year at Monday's Ballon d'Or awards in Zurich.

Former France international Ribery was left bitterly disappointed when he was last year beaten by winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the final voting.

Neuer is now in the same position, up against Portugal's Ronaldo and four-time winner Messi of Barcelona for football's most prestigious individual prize.

"Of course Manuel has a big chance. He is the best keeper in the world for me, has won a lot of titles, was the best German player at the World Cup and won the World Cup," Ribery said Sunday at Bayern's training camp in Qatar.

"He can't do any more. For me he has to be the clear winner."

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge meanwhile told dpa he hoped Neuer would win but it seemed that Real Madrid star Ronaldo was again the favourite.

"When I look at what the experts have been saying these past few days they seem to be favouring Ronaldo," he said.

"If I am honest I fear that as well."

However Rummenigge said Neuer would be a deserved winner, and that UEFA president Michel Platini had put it the right way.

"The World Cup in a World Cup year should be the decisive factor," he said. "It is the most important event."

Neuer is the first goalkeeper to make the final three of the award in its current form since 2010. No goalkeeper was named world footballer in previous years, with German Oliver Kahn second in 2002.

Soviet legend Lev Yashin was the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d'Or award, more than 50 years ago in 1963.

Neuer could also be the first Bundesliga player to win the world player award as former Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus was with Inter Milan when he won the vote in 1991.

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