Manuel Neuer has claimed that it may be tough for him to receive recognition in the Ballon d'Or voting because of his lack of brand power.
The German is on the shortlist for the world player of the year prize along with last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo and previous holder Lionel Messi.
Both Ronaldo and Messi have an array of endorsement deals and, in an interview with German magazine Kicker, Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer – a World Cup winner with Germany earlier this year – suggested that his comparative paucity of commercial exposure may have an impact on his chances of winning.
In a thinly veiled dig at Ronaldo's underwear range, Neuer said: "I am a sportsman, not a brand ambassador, besides being the first goalkeeper of Adidas. I'm not the sort of person who poses in their underwear.
"I do not like the red carpet, I prefer the green pitch. I feel better on the field trying to improve my game."
Neuer also feels that the fact he is a goalkeeper will impact on his prospects of winning the award.
"After matches the highlights show mostly the goals, scoring chances, assists," he added. "The spectator tends not to remember that as a goalkeeper I make difficult saves at great risk and start moves with my efforts."comments