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Reina backs Casillas for Ballon d´Or.

9 July 2012 10:45

Former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Reina believes that Iker Casillas deserves to win the Ballon d'Or.

The 66-year-old has praised Real Madrid's shot-stopper for his fine campaign in 2011-12, where he captained his club to Liga glory, and kept five clean sheets as Spain won Euro 2012.

"It is clear Casillas deserves [the Ballon d'Or]," he told AS. "He had a great European Championship, and had a very good season with Madrid, winning La Liga.

"Honestly, for the work he's done, he undoubtedly deserves it. I have no doubt that he has done more than enough to merit the award.

"Casillas has shown a human quality, and is a role model for all young people. Furthermore, he showed immense fair play in the Euro final.

"When the referee added on time at the end of the game, Casillas asked the assistant referee not to add on any more minutes out of respect for Italy. It was unnecessary to draw any more blood from the Italians.

"Casillas is a symbol for football, and sport in general."

He did, however, concede that goalkeepers do not receive enough recognition, and that could hold him back winning the award.

"Maybe that will be a problem for Casillas. Awards like this are never given to goalkeepers. It is always the forwards [that win], because they get all the glory.

"It is about time a goalkeeper was given the Ballon d'Or. It is the most difficult position in football, and deserves equal recognition.

"Players like [Dino] Zoff and [Oliver] Kahn were two great keepers, but never received enough recognition. Buffon also. This year it will be difficult [for Casillas to win], but for his effort and his career so far, he deserves it."

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