Neuer cautious over Ballon d’Or prospects
Germany's World Cup winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (in pic) on Friday played down his prospects of securing the World Player of the Year award over holder Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. “I’m certainly not favourite. The other two are international 'marques', they've clearly got an advantage,” the Bayern Munich star told German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung. If Neuer does receive the Ballon d'Or he will be the first of his countrymen to do so since Lothar Matthaus in 1990 and only the second goalkeeper after Lev Yashin, of the then Soviet Union, in 1963. Neuer, Ronaldo, who has claimed the FIFA honour twice, and Messi, a four-time winner, are the three finalists for the 2014 Ballon d'Or with the winner announced on January 12.