Steven Gerrard votes for Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez to win the Ballon d'Or

Franck Ribery is the favourite to win the prestigious award

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The Independent Football

Steven Gerrard has revealed he used one of his three Fifa Ballon d'Or votes to nominate team-mate Luis Saurez, but only after checking it didn't break any rules.

Gerrard was eligible to vote on the winner of the most prestigious individual honour in football due to his captaincy of England.

While not revealing who his other two choices were, Gerrard is quoted as saying he picked Suarez.

"I voted for him in my top three," the 33-year-old said.

"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 is among the 23 nominees for the award that will be announced on 13 January. While the Uruguay international has been among the top performers when on the pitch, he missed 10 games for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic which covered the end of last season and the start of the current campaign.

Gerrard was uncertain if he was allowed to select a Liverpool team-mate for the award, but went ahead after checking on the rules.

"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," he explained.

Lionel Messi has won the award for the last four years, but an injury that rules the Barcelona forward out until 2014 has seen his odds on winning it for a fifth year slide. The favourite with bookmakers is Franck Ribery, who was the stand-out player in Bayern Munich's treble winning season which included victory in the Champions League final at Wembley in May. Cristiano Ronaldo is also among the contenders.