Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng feels Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have the upper hand to win the Ballon d'Or.
The Germany international says the duo are are from "another world" and cannot be toppled by another player during January's ceremony.
"It has been 10 years since Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the Ballon d'Or. It is really hard as a defender. You would have to win the World Cup, make the team of the tournament and ideally score a few goals as well," Boateng told Sport Bild.
"And I am not even taking those two players from another world into account then. It will be very hard for anyone to win the Ballon d'Or so long as Messi and Ronaldo are playing at this level, regardless of whether you are a defender or an attacker. They are superstars.
"We have some great players with the [Germany] national team like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil, but nobody will get angry when I say we do not have a player like Messi or Ronaldo. They are extraordinary even at the highest level."
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