Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Ballon d'Or is a political prize - but Ronaldo deserves to win says; Filipe Luis

Filipe Luis: Ballon d'Or is a political prize - but Ronaldo deserves to win
The Brazilian defender feels Lionel Messi did not do enough in 2013-14 to earn the award and admits Real Madrid were the worthy winners of the Champions League finalFilipe Luis has described the Ballon d'Or as a "political prize" - but says Cristiano Ronaldo has done more to deserve it than any other player in 2014.

The Portugal captain remains the favourite to claim the award for the second year in a row following his incredible goalscoring standards for Real Madrid in the past year, though Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer provide some stern competition.

Chelsea defender Filipe Luis starred for Atletico Madrid last season en route to La Liga glory before leaving for Jose Mourinho's men in the summer.

And he thinks that although Messi is arguably the greatest player he has ever faced, no one has done more than Ronaldo in 2014 to lift the trophy in January.

"Messi is one of the most talented players I've faced, if not the best, but I don't think he's had a season to deserve the Ballon d'Or," Filipe Luis said in an interview with Marca.

"Although it seems a political prize, Cristiano has done far more than anyone else to win."

The Brazilian full-back went on to admit that Atletico's defeat to Real in the Champions League final this year - which came about after Sergio Ramos equalised with an injury-time header - left him hurting throughout the summer as he sealed a transfer to Chelsea.

"That late corner hurt a lot. It was a very bitter holiday, despite us winning the league," said the Brazil international.

"It's true there were only two minutes left, but Real Madrid deserved to win.

"They'll be a very difficult opponent in any knockout tie. They have confidence and have shed the burden of La Decima. That, together with the quality they've put together, make Real Madrid a very powerful rival."

Atletico remain in the Liga title race and reached the Champions League knockouts despite losing a number of key players in the summer.

And Filipe Luis is confident Diego Simeone's men will fight to defend their title despite the relative struggles of some of their replacement players.

"They seem to have the same intensity and style of play. I think they can fight for La Liga. They've got a lot of new players and not all of them can explode in the first year. That's the case with Antoine Griezmann," he added.
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