Germany coach Joachim Low has revealed that he'd have voted for captain Manuel Neuer for the 2020 Ballon d'Or, had the award not been cancelled due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Neuer enjoyed a stunning season with Bayern Munich, as he played a pivotal role in their historic treble-winning season. The veteran goalkeeper rolled back the years and produced a string of outstanding displays in the Champions League knockout stages, as the Bavarian giants got their hands on the prize for the sixth time in their history.
Speaking to Kicker, Low lavished praise on Neuer, while he also admitted that Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is a world-class striker who could have been in contention for the award.
"Manu was in great shape throughout the 2019-20 season. Manu is in a class of his own. Crazy, unbelievable."
"I have nothing against Robert Lewandowski, he is a world-class goalscorer, but for me, the best player in the world this year would be Manuel Neuer. What he did in the Final 8 in Lisbon! He kept the shop shut!"
"Manuel was on hand in difficult situations against Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain, otherwise it might be 0-1 or 1-1. You had the feeling that he was omnipresent."
Low lavishes praise on "unbelievable" Manuel Neuer
Neuer is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, as he showed his class again in the final against Paris Saint-Germain. While Kingsley Coman stole the show with the matchwinning goal, Neuer's contribution cannot be overstated, as he made a series of high-profile saves to win the game for his team.
The 34-year-old became the third goalkeeper since Peter Schmeichel and Iker Casillas to captain a Champions League-winning side, as he got his hands on club football's biggest prize for the second time in his career.
Low's comments add value to the claims that Neuer is the greatest goalkeeper of the modern era, with the German shot-stopper cementing his status as an icon in recent seasons.
Published 31 Aug 2020, 21:34 IST