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Xabi Alonso backs Manuel Neuer for Ballon d'Or

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, according to his teammate Xabi Alonso.

Xabi Alonso has insisted that "it would be fair" if his Bayern Munich teammate Manuel Neuer won the Ballon d'Or award this year.

No goalkeeper has claimed the accolade since Lev Yashin back in 1963.

However, having spent time playing alongside Neuer this season following his summer arrival from Real Madrid, Alonso believes that the German international would be a deserving recipient.

"He is by far the best goalkeeper that I have ever played with. He is also a big player in the field. It would be fair if he won the Ballon d'Or this year, no doubt. I knew that Neuer was a top player but when I arrived at Bayern he surprised me even more," he told Bild.

Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo is the current favourite with the bookmakers to win the award for the second year running.

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Roma's Greece defender Kostas Manolas, Roma's French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski vie for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group E second-leg football match FC Bayern Munich vs AS Roma in Munich
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