Ney­mar says not ob­sessed with win­ning Bal­lon d’Or

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Barcelona’s Brazil­ian star Ney­mar says win­ning the Bal­lon d’Or is one of his goals but he will not lose any sleep if he never takes home foot­ball’s top in­di­vid­ual award. “If I don’t win the Bal­lon d’or, its okay,” he said in an in­ter­view posted on the La Liga web­site yes­ter­day when asked if he was dis­ap­pointed that he was not named as one of three fi­nal­ists for the prize this year. “I don’t play foot­ball to win the Bal­lon d’Or, I play foot­ball to be happy be­cause I love it, be­cause I want to play foot­ball. Un­for­tu­nately only one per­son can win it,” he added.

“Of course it is one of my goals win­ning the Bal­lon d’Or but I won’t die if I don’t.” The Bal­lon d’Or has passed back and forth be­tween Real Madrid’s Por­tuguese star Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Barcelona’s Ar­gen­tine play­maker Lionel Messi for the last nine years since Brazil­ian Kaka won the 2007 award.

Ney­mar was a fi­nal­ist for the prize for the first time last year be­fore los­ing out to Messi who won the ac­co­lade for the fifth time. Ron­aldo was re­warded with the 2016 Bal­lon d’Or ear­lier this month for help­ing Real win the Cham­pi­ons League and lead­ing Por­tu­gal to Euro 2016 glory.

Since mov­ing to Barcelona from Brazil­ian side San­tos in 2013, Ney­mar has won two league ti­tles, two do­mes­tic cups, the Span­ish Su­per Cup, the Cham­pi­ons League and the Club World Cup.

Play­ing along­side Messi, the club’s record goalscorer, and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, who fin­ished top scorer in La Liga last sea­son, the 24-year-old has es­tab­lished him­self as one of the world’s top play­ers. The strike trio scored 131 goals be­tween them last sea­son.

“It’s a bit strange be­cause one of us is Brazil­ian, an­other Ar­gen­tinian, the other Uruguayan, we are ri­vals in our coun­tries in South Amer­ica,” Ney­mar said.

“I don’t know what hap­pened. We have a great friend­ship, we are al­ways jok­ing around with each other. It makes me very happy to have peo­ple like that in foot­ball,” he added. — AFP

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