This year's Ballon d'Or is the first time in years that it isn't a two horse race between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The favourite is currently Ronaldo at 1/6 with Messi being an outsider at 14/1.
Despite Ronaldo being the clear favourite for the award here's why German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer shouldn't be ignored.
1) Club and country
Neuer played a major role in Germany's World Cup winning campaign in which he kept four clean sheets in seven games against some of the world's greatest teams.
The Bayern keeper delivered on the world's biggest stage just like he has done time and time again for club and country.
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One of Neuer's clean sheets interestingly came when they thrashed Ronaldo's Portugal side 4-0 in the group stages.
Ronaldo was helpless in seeing his side fall at the first hurdle, finishing third in the group by Jurgen Klinsman's USA side.
2) League campaign
Bayern Munich are undoubtedly the biggest and best team in the German Bundesliga. The 2013-14 campaign saw Bayern claim the Bundesliga title by winning 29 of their 34 games.
They only lost two games all season and Neuer, who kept clean sheets in just under half of their fixtures, played a big role in this. Both Ronaldo's Madrid side and Messi's Barcelona side failed to win La Liga.
Despite the Spanish league often being considered a two-horse race both of these giants and their star men fell to the admittedly impressive Atletico Madrid.
3) Messi's year
Lionel Messi deserved to win the Ballon d'Or for four consecutive years before Ronaldo claimed last year's award.
Messi's Barcelona record speaks for itself but he hasn't hit the heights at the Nou Camp or with Argentina that he can do. Neuer on the other hand has arguably had the greatest individual season of his career has shown his worth multiple times for club and country.
Messi's apparent fall out with Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has tarnished recent times for the Argentinian and I'd be very surprised if he claimed his fifth Ballon d'Or this year.
4) It's about time a keeper won again
Goalkeepers are often discarded for the awarding of the Ballon d'Or before the voting has truly began. This is illustrated in the fact that a keeper hasn't won since the Soviet Union's Lev Yashin triumphed in 1963.
Yes both Ronaldo and Messi are much more entertaining to watch and would cost more should a club wish to acquire their services but it doesn't mean that goalkeepers should be disregarded.
The Ballon d'Or is awarded to the best player in the world rather than the most entertaining player after all.
5) Undisputed best
The argument about whether Messi or Ronaldo is the greater player has gone on for many years and shall continue to be debated in years to come.
Neuer on the other hand is by far the best keeper in the world on both ability and form this year.
Nobody has consistently come close to the high levels Neuer has reached and maintained with David de Gea coming closest to the German on current form.
The debate about who is the better outfield player has not reached a conclusion but Manuel Neuer is the best player in his position in the world and that's why he should win the Ballon d'Or.
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