Pelé believes Iker Casillas should win this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or
Pelé believes that it is the ideal time for Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or.
The 71-year-old feels that goalkeepers have been neglected over the past few decades and that it's about time the unsung hero was rewarded for his efforts.
Pelé told Spanish publication AS: ''Usually it's attacking players [who win the Ballon d'Or], but for me it may be unfair to make such an assessment given that I have not seen all the games.
''Still, there is no doubt about the performances of Casillas in big tournaments. This would be a good opportunity - the ideal time - to give him the Ballon d'Or. He has contributed as much as the forwards in their victories. You can have the best No.10 but it won't work if there isn't a great goalkeeper behind him.
''I have been very important [for Brazil], I will not deny that, because I was a forward. But look at [Amadeo] Carrizo, [Lev] Yashin and [Gordon] Banks. People do not talk about the goalkeepers.''
Casillas has had a season to remember for club and country, captaining Real Madrid to the La Liga title before lifting the European Championship trophy for La Roja on Sunday night.
The 32-year-old conceded just one goal at Euro 2012, in their opening game against Italy. However, a clean sheet against the Azzurri in the final made up for that.
Real Madrid's shot-stopper has made 137 appearances for his country, enjoying 100 wins during an era of great success. He has also not conceded in a knockout game for his country since 2006.
Pelé added:"Every era has its great player. There are times when there are four or five to compare, but for me, now there is a time of need.
"Who today would compare with Messi? Neymar? Cristiano [Ronaldo] is second but who else is there?"