Brazil coach Dunga picks Ronaldo over Neymar for Ballon d'Or

Updated: Dec 31, 2014, 11:15 IST | |

Despite starring in the World Cup and putting in blistering performances for Barcelona, Brazilian Neymar's national team coach Dunga preferred his Real Madrid rival

Porto Alegre: Brazil boss Dunga has revealed he voted for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo - not his own player Neymar - to win the 2014 Ballon d'Or.

Brazil boss Dunga
Brazil boss Dunga

Ronaldo, who was handed the award in 2014, is the favourite to win the trophy for a third time but faces competition from Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Neymar was nominated in the 23-man shortist having been one of the stars of this summer's World Cup until injury ended his tournament, and Brazil simultaneously careered towards an embarrassing semi-final exit to Germany.

Despite now coaching Neymar for the national team, having taken the reins from Luiz Felipe Scolari after the World Cup finished, Dunga revealed he has allied with the Barca star's Real Madrid rival Ronaldo for the Fifa award this year.

"My vote was for Cristiano Ronaldo," the 51-year-old said at a press conference in Porto Alegre.

If Ronaldo is successful in his bid for the Ballon d'Or, he will be just one victory short of matching Messi, who has won the trophy four times.

On Saturday Bayern goalkeeper Pepe Reina said Ronaldo would win the prize but feels Neuer is a more worthy candidate, while Barca midfielder Xavi has also questioned the Portuguese's credentials because of his failure to shine at the World Cup.

The winner of the award will be announced at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich on January 12.

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