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Oct 31, 2013

Neuer honoured by Ballon d'Or nod

Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer said he is honoured to be the only goalkeeper to be nominated this year's Ballon d'Or award.

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Neuer, 27, is one of six Bayern Munich players to be on the list. The Germany international is also part of a Germany quintet -- which also includes Arsenal star Mesut Ozil -- to be up for the prize.

The former Schalke keeper, however, only has an outside chance, considering the only keeper to be win the Ballon d'Or being Lev Yashin in 1963.

"It is a huge honour for me to be the only player on the shortlist," Neuer told Sport1. "We all hope one of the Bayern players picks up the accolade."

Netherlands international Arjen Robben, who scored the last-gasp winner in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund last season to seal the Treble for Bayern, joins Neuer on the list along with teammate Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller and Franck Ribery.

The winger, however, is currently working on returning to the Bayern team, following a minor injury in last week's match against Hertha Berlin.

"It gets better from day to day," Robben said after only doing individual training on Wednesday. "We will not take any risks."

Like Robben, Germany international Toni Kroos could also miss Saturday's clash at Hoffenheim, after he had to be substituted early on in the 3-2 win over Hertha. The midfielder is currently training away from the rest of the squad.

Brazil defender Dante is set to return against Hoffenheim. In recent weeks, the centre-back was sidelined with an ankle injury, and last played for Bayern in the 4-1 victory against Mainz in mid-October.

On Saturday, Bayern could equal Hamburg's 30-year-old Bundesliga record of 36 consecutive league games without a defeat. 

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