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LVG: GIVE IT TO A GERMAN

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal believes that neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi should receive the coveted FIFA Ballon d’Or award this year.

The case against Lionel Messi is significantly strengthened by the fact that the Argentine did not lift any major title with Barcelona last season, although he did help his national team reached the final of the World Cup 2014.

Ronaldo, however, performed exceptionally with Real Madrid and helped them win the Champions League title for a record 10th time. Even though he did not have a great World Cup and finished with only one goal, he has been made as the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or award by bookmakers across the world, including in Sweden and the UK.

Ronaldo scored more than 50 goals last season and he also finished the Champions League campaign with an astonishing 17, which is a new record.

Van Gaal says that only World Cup winners should be considered for the Ballon d’Or award during a World Cup year. Up to 6 Germans have the possibility of winning this title.

The likes of Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze, and Philipp Lahm are included in the short list. Müller and Neuer happy to have the best chances if FIFA go down the root of Van Gaal and name a German as the winner.

"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. In Germany, the level of the matches in the Bundesliga is also very high," said Van Gaal, who guided his Netherlands team to a third place in Brazil.

The highs of the World Cup have gone away for the Dutchman after he has been struggling to get results on a consistent basis at Manchester United. Despite this, he has been included in the Fifa coach of the year shortlist.