Real Madrid have criticised Michel Platini after the UEFA president said that Cristiano Ronaldo should not win this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Platini believes the accolade should be awarded to one of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad.
The Spanish club have expressed their “surprise” at Platini’s comments.
2013 winner Ronaldo, 29, is favourite to retain the honour after a prolific 12 months during which he helped Madrid to a 10th European title.
The Portugal skipper has scored 48 goals in 45 matches in all competitions for Carlo Ancelotti’s side this year.
But former France midfielder Platini, a three-time winner of the award in the 1980s, said he believed that a “world champion” deserved to win the Ballon d’Or.
Six Germany players – Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Bastian Schweinsteiger – have been named in the 23-man shortlist.
The statement read:
“In view of the declarations made by the president of UEFA, Michel Platini, concerning the winner of the Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid C. F. would like to outline:
“Firstly, its surprise at the repeated declarations regarding his personal preferences over the choice of the winner of the Ballon d’Or, particularly given that he is the head of European football’s principal body, where our understanding is that the strictest impartiality should prevail.
“Secondly, the Ballon d’Or is an individual rather than collective prize which is awarded annually to the best player in the world, and we believe that, in order to maintain its prestige, those who participate in the vote should take into account exclusively the individual professional achievements of the players.
“Finally, we believe that Cristiano Ronaldo has without doubt had his best ever professional year individually, and has claimed the Champions League, the Golden Shoe and the record for the highest goalscorer in an edition of the Champions League, as well as the Copa del Rey and the top-scorer award in La Liga.
“In the current season, he has won the European Super Cup, scoring both goals in the match, and is achieving spectacular figures such as his 20 goals in the first 12 matchdays of La Liga, which confirm his great moment of form and ensure that, more than ever, he is deserving of the Ballon d’Or.”