Luis Enrique plays down Suarez Ballon d´Or omission

Luis Enrique refused to be drawn on the controversy surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s inclusion in the FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist ahead of Luis Suarez, stating “there are good players in other teams”.

Ronaldo and Barca duo Lionel Messi and Neymar will contest the award on January 11 in Zurich, although the Real Madrid star’s nomination has come under scrutiny with Brazil captain Neymar particularly vocal in his belief it should have been a Barca 1-2-3.

He told Globo Esporte prior to the announcement: “I think we (Messi, Suarez and Neymar) deserve to be there for what we have been doing.

“I would be very happy if Barca’s trident formed the three candidates, for all the history we are making and for all we are winning, the three of us should be there.”

The famed MSN frontline contributed 122 goals in all competitions as Barca cruised to a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League in 2014-15 but Luis Enrique was willing to take a step back and accept there were other players worthy of nominations.

He told a media conference on Tuesday: “I always want my players to be in all these lists but you have to understand there are good players in other teams.

“I had no opportunity to make my opinion felt so it’s not for me to say but I would have loved all my players to have been there.”

Luis Enrique was shortlisted for the Coach of the Year award alongside Bayern Munich’s former Barca boss Pep Guardiola and Jorge Sampaoli, who led Chile to Copa America glory earlier this year.

“These prizes come because the team did so well last season,” he added.

“I am very grateful to be put forward for these awards but it’s down to what the players did. Winning titles last season as we did last year means it’s only logical that we are now receiving awards.”

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