Monday 16 December 2019

Manuel Neuer won't win the Ballon d'Or because he doesn't pose in his underpants... like Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo throws his shirt away in celebration after scoring from the penalty spot in extra-time during last season's Champions League final. Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Cristiano Ronaldo throws his shirt away in celebration after scoring from the penalty spot in extra-time during last season's Champions League final. Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Tom Sheen

Manuel Neuer has aimed a dig at Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, stating the Portuguese will likely win the Ballon d'or as much for his off-field prowess as his talents on the pitch.

Ronaldo is the odds-on favourite to win the prestigious award, with some bookies placing him as low as 1/10, while Neuer is third, with some placing him as high as 20/1.

While Ronaldo won the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey with Real Madrid last season, and has scored 23 goals in 17 matches for Los Blancos this season, Neuer was a crucial part of Germany's World Cup winning team, playing every minute of every match in the tournament.

He also helped Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal Cup double, and is undoubtedly the best goalkeeper in the world.

Ronaldo-pants.jpg

But Neuer, also behind Messi according to the bookies, says he has no chance of winning the award because he has a quiet lifestyle off the pitch.

"I'm a sportsman, not an ambassador for a brand, beyond being Adidas' first goalkeeper,' Neuer told German magazine Kicker. "I'm not some guy who poses in his underpants.

"I don't like the red carpet. I prefer the green turf. I feel better on the pitch trying to be the best I can be."

According to Forbes, Ronaldo has an estimated net worth of £51million, with just shy of £18m of that coming from endorsements. The Portuguese has a long-term deal with Nike, as well as contracts with Emirates, Toyota, KFC and many more. Neuer, in comparison, has an estimated worth of £25.5m.

"After the games, the main things they show are goals, the chances, the assists," added Neuer. "Spectators don't tend to remember that the keeper stopped difficult balls by taking a big risk or organised the play from the back."

The last goalkeeper to win the Ballon d'Or was Lev Yashin in 1963.

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