Frankfurt - German Football League Association president Dr. Reinhard Rauball and DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH Chief Executive Officer Christian Seifert were both full of praise for FC Bayern München and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after the 28-year-old FIFA World Cup winner finished third behind Real Madrid CF's Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona at the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony.
Dr. Reinhard Rauball: "I sincerely congratulate Manuel Neuer on being voted one of the three best footballers in the world. He was the guarantor of success for the national side at the World Cup in Brazil and for his club as they won the Bundesliga and DFB Cup. To be selected in the top 3 for the Ballon d’Or as a goalkeeper deserves the utmost respect. This result is a further indication of the worldwide acclaim enjoyed by German football. To be mentioned in the same breath as world-class players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is a real honour."
Christian Seifert: “Last year, Manuel Neuer displayed superb football skills and he has now been named one of the world's three best footballers. He has taken goalkeeping to a whole new level. Manuel Neuer is only the second goalkeeper to attain this distinction after Oliver Kahn in 2002. I sincerely congratulate him on this achievement, which underscores the respect and acknowledgement enjoyed by German football.”
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern München chairman): "It’s great to see a Bayern München player reach the final three for the second time running after Franck Ribery last year. We’re incredibly proud of Manuel Neuer, third place is further recognition of his extraordinary performances. He had a great year and played an unbelievable World Cup. He’s set new standards as a goalkeeper and would’ve totally deserved to be voted the world’s best footballer."
Franz Beckenbauer (World champion as coach and player with Germany): "Manuel Neuer is by far the best keeper in the world. It’s unfortunate the World Cup didn’t play a bigger role in this vote. Neuer couldn’t have done much better this year."
Ottmar Hitzfeld (former Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and Switzerland coach): "You have to accept the result. Attacking players may be more entertaining to watch as they score goals. I had my fingers crossed for Neuer, but maybe time wasn’t ripe for a goalkeeper to win it. Neuer can give it another shot this year, though."
Philipp Lahm (Bayern München captain): "It's a shame for Manuel, all of us in Germany were hoping he'd win the award. All three are outstanding footballers, the other two just happen to score a lot of goals. He can be the world's best keeper for many years to come and I think 'Manu' is happy with that achievement."