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Sports

Mourinho criticizes FIFA Ballon d'Or

The Chelsea manager shares the opinion of his Premier League rival Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman took a swipe at the award at the start of the year.

Jose Mourinho has hit out at the FIFA Ballon d'Or award and believes the prize ignores the virtues of team-play in football.

The Ballon d'Or is voted for by national team coaches, captains and journalists around the globe with the votes counted up at the end of the deadline.

Cristiano Ronaldo took 37 percent of the votes in January at the awards ceremony in Zurich, whilst both Manuel Neuer and Lionel Messi shared 15 percent each.

But the attraction of individual brilliance has sometimes overshadowed the award as players who benefit the collective are overlooked, such as, defenders and goalkeepers.

Wenger also critical

Mourinho echoed comments from English Premier League side Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger who admitted in January that he wouldn't vote for any winner because of his love of 'team-play'.

"I think Wenger said something that is interesting," Mourinho told the English newspaper, "The Daily Telegraph", in an exclusive interview.

"He is against the Ballon d'Or, and I think he's right, because in this moment football is losing a little bit the concept of the team to focus more on the individual.

Wenger and Mourinho have had heated moments

Wenger and Mourinho have had heated moments

"We are always looking at the individual performance, the individual stat, the player that runs more. Because you run 11km in a game and I run nine you did a better job than I did?"

"Maybe not. Maybe my 9km were more important than your 11."

"For me, football is collective. The individual is welcome if you want to make our group better. But you have to work for us, not we have to work for you.

"When the top player arrives, the team is already there. It's not him who comes to discover the team, like Columbus discovering America. No, no, you are coming now to help us be better."

FIFA's Ballon d'Or award has been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo since 2010 with the Real Madrid forward winning the last two prizes.

Neuer picked up third-place this season following his World Cup exploits, whilst Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich took the same award last season.

rd/apc (Reuters, AFP)