Dino Zoff has praised Iker Casillas, saying he would love to see him win the Ballon d’Or, although he does not think he will do so.
The legendary Italian goalkeeper maintains Casillas’ performances in Spain’s recent Euro 2012 victory in Poland and Ukraine should earn him the award, but believes he will be overlooked in favour of an outfield player.
“I would love him to win it but in all honesty I don’t think he will because it is very difficult,” said Zoff in an interview published by Marca.
“I think Messi will win it again because he is an artist. He is the best. Cristiano Ronaldo is very close to him and they are the two best players.
“However, Casillas has everything and is the complete goalkeeper. He has no weaknesses and hardly makes mistakes.
“There is no doubt he is one of the greatest in the world alongside Gianluigi Buffon and Petr Cech.”
Zoff became the oldest player to win a World Cup when Italy beat West Germany in the 1982 final in Madrid at the age of 40, and was a previous Ballon d’Or runner-up in 1973.
“I came second behind Johan Cruyff and I think it would be a great result if Casillas finished behind Messi, but it is different for a goalkeeper.
“I think it is an award for ball artists,” he added.