The FIFA Ballon D'ór is up for grabs in a couple of months and chances are, Cristiano Ronaldo is going to walk away it. The Real Madrid attacker has been in imperious form so far this season with 18 league goals in just 10 games to add to his haul of 31 from last season. Regardless of your feelings towards the former Man Utd man, he really should be winning the personal accolade.
However, given that it was a World Cup year there have been suggestions that there might be a German in line to take the honour, with Manuel Neuer being the standout candidate. The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has been speaking to German magazine Kicker about the possibility of dislodging Ronaldo's crown and he seemed to suggest that the the Real Madrid man would win the award as much for his performances off the pitch as those on it.
I'm a sportsman, not an ambassador for a brand, beyond being Adidas's first goalkeeper. 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.
A fairly obvious swipe at some of Ronaldo's recent marketing campaigns.
Not only is his aversion to bearing (almost) all going against him, Neuer also suggested that his position as a goalkeeper is likely to prevent him from winning personal accolades.
After the games, the main things they show are goals, the chances, the assists. Spectators don't tend to remember that the keeper stopped difficult balls by taking a big risk or organised the play from the back.
Updates: Thomas Nowag has since got in touch with us to let us know that Neuer may be a bit of a hypocrite. However, as Jim helpfully points out below, that's for Madame Tussauds but nonetheless he is still posing in his underpants.
— Thomas Nowag (@Dagobert95) November 17, 2014