Steven Gerrard Reveals He Voted for Luis Suarez in Ballon d'Or Race

Christopher AtkinsContributor INovember 11, 2013

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park on October 19, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has revealed that he voted for teammate Luis Suarez as one of his picks for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Midfielder Gerrard believes the Uruguayan to be among the best few players in the world, voting for him in spite of criteria mentioning that "overall behaviour on and off the pitch" should be considered, per the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce.

The England midfielder is reported as saying:

I voted for him in my top three. I asked if the rules can be that you can vote for one of your own players and they gave me the green light so he got one of my votes.

I think everyone knows how much I rate him. I think we are very lucky to have him and we have to enjoy him while he's here. For me he is one of the top four or five players in the world for sure.

Suarez's misdemeanours, which include earning a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, make it highly unlikely he will make the top few places in the award's voting.

While he may have been generally outstanding for Liverpool this calendar year, those impressions and his lack of Champions League football will surely count against him when the ballots are counted.

Beyond that, he is disadvantaged by the fact that Liverpool have not been competing for titles over the past 12 months—a factor which often influences voting in such awards. However, that is not to say Gerrard's opinion is wrong, as such.

Suarez is already the Premier League's top scorer this season, with eight goals to his name after just five appearances. His scoring record last season, prior to suspension, was also excellent. He is an exciting player in his all-round play.

Is he among the top three players in the world, though, as Gerrard suggests? With Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery around, many would surely disagree.

As someone who knows Suarez well and trains with him every day, it is understandable that Gerrard has a particularly positive impression of his colleague.

His vote, though, raises doubts about the suitability of the current Ballon d'Or voting system, which often sees players and coaches vote for either teammates or international colleagues.

It would be more sensible perhaps, as Gerrard enquired to check, if those voting were banned from doing so. Regardless, given Messi's current dominance of the award, it would be unlikely to change the destination of this year's prize.