The 39-year-old believes his younger brother could have won the coveted individual award if he was more hardworking
Owing to his individual brilliance in midfield, Yaya, a four-time African Footballer of the Year, has been nominated for the individual award five times in his career while his best position in the annual awards was a 12th-place finish in 2012.
The former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder enjoyed successful stints in Spain, England and most recently in China, where he won the Chinese League One title to help Qingdao Huanghai secure promotion to the Super League.
The two brothers worked together at Manchester City for three years and won the Premier League and FA Community Shield in 2012 before Kolo moved to Liverpool in the summer of 2013.
The duo’s impact at the Etihad Stadium made fans compose a special song for them, however, Kolo explained some contrasting qualities between him and his brother regarding talent and competition.
“I have never had the chance to say thank you to the people who do that. It touches my heart. When you come to another country and the people embrace you and like you, give you praise and even sing your name, it is unbelievable for me and my brother,” he told BBC Sport.
“If somebody had told me 15 years ago ‘Kolo, people will be singing your name everywhere in the UK’ I would have said ‘are you joking?’
“I can’t compare myself to my brother. He was a better player than me, for sure. I know he loves City but because English is not our first language, sometimes we say things we don’t mean.
“He did better than me here and he is more talented. But I am more competitive than Yaya. I was a better runner and I worked hard.
“If Yaya had my work, with his talent, he would win the Ballon d’Or.”
Kolo was a member of Arsenal’s Invincible team, and he played a crucial defensive role in helping the Gunners end the 2003-04 campaign with an unbeaten record.
His former club Liverpool were on course to match the Premier League feat before Watford defeated them 3-0 in February, bringing an end to their 18-game winning streak.
Despite the loss, the former Ivorian defender believes Jurgen Klopp’s men are ‘unbelievable’ as they chase the club’s first league title since the 1989-90 season.
“Liverpool are an unbelievable team. What they have done is unbelievable,” he added.
“They won every game. We didn’t do that. We won a few and drew a few. [Going unbeaten] is not something you really care about.”