Manuel Neuer has had a sly dig at Ballon d’Or rival Cristiano Ronaldo, saying he won’t win the award because he is not a ‘brand ambassador,’ Goal.com reports.
The World-Cup winning goalkeeper has been named on the shortlist for the FIFA player of the year award alongside Ronaldo and three-time winner Lionel Messi.
While his two counterparts have a host of endorsement deals, the Bayern Munich stopper does not share the same commercial exposure and believes his lack of brand power puts him at a disadvantage.
“I am a sportsman, not a brand ambassador, besides being the first goalkeeper of Adidas. I’m not the sort of person who poses in their underwear,” Neuer said in an exclusive interview with Kicker, referencing Ronaldo’s range of underwear.
“I do not like the red carpet, I prefer the green pitch. I feel better on the field trying to improve my game.”
Neuer also feels that goalscorers are remembered more than goalkeepers, something that could impact the voting for the award.
“After matches the highlights show mostly the goals, scoring chances, assists,” he added.
“The spectator tends not to remember that as a goalkeeper I make difficult saves at great risk and start moves with my efforts.”