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Matthaus: Xavi or Iniesta deserve Ballon d'Or

Oct 2, 2012
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Former Germany international and one-time New York/New Jersey Metrostars player Lothar Matthaus thinks that either Xavi or Andres Iniesta deserves to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The latter two are by many seen as the favorites to win the prestigious individual award following their impressive goalscoring exploits in 2012. Matthaus, though, believes neither of the two has done enough with his respective national side to deserve the award.

"In my opinion there are currently several exceptional footballers who could justifiably win the title, but I think a Spaniard should win the FIFA Ballon d'Or," Matthaus told the FIFA website. "My favorites are Xavi and Iniesta. Maybe they don’t stand out as much as Ronaldo and Messi, because they don’t score as often, but they’ve won one trophy after another for club and country.

"They’re the heartbeat in both teams [Barcelona and Spain] and are always pulling the strings on the pitch, as they impressively demonstrated at Euro 2012. Of course, last year Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo amazed us all with their clubs, setting unbelievable records with the amount of goals they scored. However, they couldn’t repeat that kind of form at international level."

Argentina attacker Messi won the last Ballon d'Or, ahead of Real Madrid's Ronaldo and Blaugrana vice-captain Xavi.