Messi deserves Ballon d’Or, says Neymar

Temuco (Chile), June 15 (IANS) Spanish football side FC Barcelona’s forward Neymar believes teammate Lionel Messi deserves to win the 2015 Ballon d’Or award trophy as the Argentine was the key man in club’s treble trophy-winning season.

Spanish outfit Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has won the last two awards, given to the best footballer of the globe by world football governing body FIFA, and is coming off the back of a domestic season in which he netted 58 goals.

Messi netted 58 times in 57 appearances in all competitions as he inspired Barcelona to three trophy wins, the La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

Messi is the first football player in history to win four Ballons d’Or titles, winning it on four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.

Neymar said that there is only one possible winner of the 2015 Ballon d’Or and that is the Argentina skipper.

“For all that he has done, Messi deserves the Ballon d’Or for 2015,” Neymar was quoted as saying by Brazilian television Globo on Sunday.

Neymar was speaking after helping his country to a 2-1 win over Peru in their Copa America football tournament opener on Sunday.

Neymar scored once and created the winning goal.

“This debut was difficult because of the game, the continental rivalry, and everything. But we got the win, which was our goal,” Neymar said.

The 23-year-old forward is the fifth-highest scorer in Brazil history with 44 goals for his country following Sunday’s strike, yet also missed a fine chance during the game.

“I want to continue reaching records with goals, passes, whatever it may be. It worked, and I almost scored my second goal. I messed up the kick but the next will come,” Neymar concluded.

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