Johan Cruyff believes a German player like Toni Kroos deserved to win the Ballon d'Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, the Dutch legend said it was 'absurd' that Ronaldo won football's most prestigious individual prize.
Cruyff, who won the award in 1971, 1973 and 1974, thinks Kroos was the most deserving and said he was shocked a Bayern Munich player didn't win in 2013 either - Ronaldo won that year too.
The Dutchman's chief criticism of Ronaldo centred on the Portugal captain's performance at the World Cup. The Real Madrid star was a non-factor as his country crashed out at the group stage.
I just cannot take this FIFA award seriously - Johan Cruyff
"At the highest level, it's a combination of individual talent and titles. From this point of view, it is absurd that, for the second consecutive year, the prize has been given to a player who has not played excellently [at a major tournament] or won the most titles.
"In 2013, Bayern Munich won everything there was to win, and yet Cristiano Ronaldo won the award instead of Toni Kroos or any other Bayern player.
"In 2014, Kroos was again decisive in the team that won the World Cup, and yet he was not in the three finalists. Ronaldo was invisible in the World Cup.
"I just cannot take this FIFA award seriously."
Manuel Neuer was a finalist for the award, but the Germany international finished a distant third to Messi and Ronaldo when the final votes were tallied.
Ronaldo's case was built on Real Madrid winning the Champions League, and his remarkable record of 38 league goals across the calendar year alongside 13 Champions League goals as well.
In 56 games for Real Madrid in all competitions, Ronaldo only failed to score in 14 matches. But for Cruyff these are all individual achievements and pale in importance to the contribution of a player like Kroos to winning the game's ultimate prize, the World Cup.
Have your say
Do you agree with Cruyff - should a Germany player have won the Ballon d'Or?
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms