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FIFA President Sepp Blatter: Neymar must move to Europe to have chance of winning Ballon d'Or

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has insisted that Santos striker Neymar should be looking for a transfer to Europe if he wants to win the Ballon d'Or award.

Neymar was not included on the recently-revealed shortlist of finalists for the prize, which is made up of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta as well as Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Blatter has said that the Brazilian wonderkid might have a chance to win it one day, but he will first have to move away from his homeland.

The 76-year-old said: "Neymar is outstanding, but it's difficult for anyone not playing in Europe to be one of the finalists.

"The standard of football in Brazil is high, but European football is the benchmark of club football right now," he added, noting that Neymar could be included "if he performs well with Brazil in 2014".

Brazil legend Ronaldo agreed with the FIFA supremo, but also praised the youngster for making it on the initial list of nominees in the first place.

"Neymar is on the list of 23 players nominated for the award and that is a great achievement, but I think that to be a finalist he'll have to play in Europe or have a great World Cup with the national team in 2014.

"Neymar is the biggest star in Brazil, but he isn't very well known in Europe.

"I spoke to him once about the possibility of playing in Europe, in terms of his ambition. I told him that to be one of the world's top players he has to sign for a European club."

 
 

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