by Tife Olajuwon
Italian legend and former Jeventus forward, Alessandro Del Piero has said the Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo is the future of football.
Ronaldo who has won the Ballon d’Or twice and is the current holder ended Messi’s run. The Argentine won it four consecutive times.
Del Piero is not backing either Ronaldo or Messi for the gong, but German shot-stopper and world cup winner Manuel Neuer for the gong.
He praised Ronaldo for being a 21st century footballer and Messi’s incredible playmaking skills, but believes Neuer who starred as Germany romped to world cup success and has been exquisite in 2014 to
win the prestigious award come January 12.
“The three Ballon d’Or finalists are the best of the bunch, no question,”Del Piero toldFifa.com. “Cristiano Ronaldo’s personal stats are truly impressive. A lot has been said about the concept of ‘the modern player’, well this guy is not just modern but also of the future.
“Messi, for his part, is the real deal when it comes to No10s. I remember during the World Cup inBrazil seeing countless kids wearinghis jersey – even Brazilian youngsters wearing the shirt of an Argentine! He represents a type of football that transcends borders.
“As for Manuel Neuer, he’s given us a new way of interpreting the role of a goalkeeper: not only is he very good with his feet, he also brings more mobility to his team. On top of that, he’s obviously a superb shot-stopper and Germany’s world title owed a lot to him.
“I’ll chance a prediction and say the winner will be Neuer. He was integral to Germany’s great World Cup and to a wonderful season for Bayern in the Bundesliga.
“The situation is a bit like we had in2006, when Gigi Buffon narrowly missed out on winning the Ballon d’Or to team-mate and fellow world champion Fabio Cannavaro.”