Madrid, Jan 12 (IANS) China's national football team coach Jose Camacho said Saturday that a Spanish player should have won the prestigious Balon d'Or award.
Camacho is currently in Spain with the Chinese team, taking advantage of warm weather in the south of the country to get in some winter training in the town of Jerez, reports Xinhua.
FC Barcelona's Argentinean striker Leo Messi was last Monday given the Balon d'Or for the best player of 2012 in a gala held in Zurich. It was the fourth consecutive year Messi, who scored a record 91 goals last year, has lifted the award but Camacho believes that after winning the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships in 2012, it should have gone to a player from his homeland.
"Spanish players have shown the merit to earn this award, it should have been given to a Spanish player," said Camacho.
"In the past people used to say that Spanish players didn't perform with the national team and that we were lacking a major trophy, but now we always win," he added.
The closest a Spaniard got to the award given by FIFA and the magazine, France Football, was Andres Iniesta, who finished third in the final vote, but Camacho was forced to admit, "Leo Messi is the best."
He did agree with the decision to name Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque as the best coach of 2012.
"I am proud they chose Vicente, he is a Spanish coach and it was time he was named best coach of the year," commented Camacho.
While they are in the south of Spain, the Chinese national team will play four friendly matches, the first of which is against Spanish Segunda B (third tier) side Cadiz Jan 17.