Neymar has never been a man afraid to ruffle a few feathers, but he may have given one or two of his Barcelona teammates a bit of a slap in the face with his pick for the 2016 FIFA Ballon d'Or.
In a recent interview, Neymar suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo should be the top candidate for the Ballon d'Or when it's awarded later this year.
“He won the Champions League and now the Euros. He’s very close (to the Ballon d’Or). Cristiano is a great player, I’m not hesitant on this."
Messi has won the Ballon d'Or four times since 2011 and had another standout season for Barcelona and Argentina en route to La Liga and Copa Del Ray titles as well as a trip to the Copa America Centenario Final. He scored 26 league goals, 41 total goals for Barcelona, and had five more in the Copa America Centenario.
Luis Suarez led La Liga in goals scored with 40 in just 35 La Liga games. He finished the 2015-16 campaign with a career-high 59 goals in 53 matches in all competitions. Unfortunately, injuries prevented Suarez from representing Uruguay in the Copa America Centenario. Though he was in the lineup for their last match of the group stage, he was not given any minutes during the game.
While Messi and Suarez both had great years though, the argument can be made that they did not approach the accomplishments of Cristiano Ronaldo this past year.
Maxime H. - 22/06/2016
Though Barcelona won La Liga, Cristiano Ronaldo helped lead Real Madrid to a Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid to claim his second in the last three years. He finished the season with 35 goals and 11 assists in La Liga, along with 16 goals and four assists in the Champions League.
Ronaldo's excellence extended much farther than just his club. As captain of Portugal, he helped lead the country to the Euro 2016 Final. Though he got injured early in the game, the team pulled through in extra time and secured a 1-0 victory for the first major title in the nation's history.
Suffice it to say, Neymar may not be a homer, but he isn't far off the mark.