Former Liverpool star Luis Suarez has claimed it will be unfair if Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Ballon d'Or ahead of Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer after the Real Madrid star's disappointing World Cup campaign.
Ronaldo won both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey at Real Madrid, scoring 49 goals in 47 appearances during the calendar year. However the former Manchester United star was unable to lead Portugal out of the group stages of the Brazil tournament.
Messi scored 45 goals and provided 21 assists during the year and even though he reached the World Cup final with Argentina, being named Player of the Tournament, he failed to win any title with either the national team or with Barcelona.
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer completes the shortlist after winning both the World Cup with Germany and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
Ronaldo is being tipped to be named the world's best player for the second year in a row - his third time in total – but Suarez disagrees.
The Uruguayan international believes that just as he was left out of the short-list because of his bite on Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, Ronaldo doesn't deserve to win following Portugal's flop.
"If it's between January and December then the World Cup must be taken into account, and I think my attitude in Brazil wasn't good. It may be why I wasn't considered," Suarez admitted during an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
"Yet if the organisers only judged me on what happened to me at the World Cup, they'd need to look at all the other players' performances at the World Cup.
"Leo (Messi) reached the World Cup final. Neuer is world champion, whereas Cristiano by contrast was eliminated in the first round with Portugal. Cristiano won the Champions League but he finished third in La Liga while Neuer won the Bundesliga."
In this sense Suarez backs Messi to win his fifth award.
"I've always said the best player in the world is Messi for everything he has done and for all he brings to football.
"After so many months with many goals, it is amazing that people do not think of Leo Messi as the favourite. What is clear is that there are different campaigns for people to win.
"Considering the year Leo had with injuries and still scoring the goals he did, plus what he achieved with Argentina, I think there is sufficient merit."