Brazil icon Ronaldo has backed Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo is favourite to win a fourth Ballon d’Or after helping Portugal to Euro 2016 glory, having guided Madrid to Champions League success.
The 31-year-old scored 51 goals in all competitions for Madrid last season, while he netted three times as Portugal emerged triumphant in France.
And former Madrid striker Ronaldo believes the Portuguese sensation’s achievements this year make him a standout on the 30-man shortlist, which includes five-time winner Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
“This year, if I have to choose, I’d pick Cristiano Ronaldo over Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or because of what he’s won,” Ronaldo told Claro Sports.
Ronaldo – a two-time LaLiga winner in Madrid – was speaking following his namesake’s new contract in the Spanish capital.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s renewal will see him remain at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2021, with the former Manchester United forward to be aged 36 if he sees out the duration of the contract.
And the 40-year-old Ronaldo added: “It’d be best if Cristiano Ronaldo retired at Real Madrid and then worked at the club.”
Despite his exploits in 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo’s form has still been criticised this season.
While Cristiano Ronaldo has scored seven goals across LaLiga and the Champions League, he has been scoreless in four of his past five matches in all competitions, enough to spark doubt as to whether his best football is behind him.
But Ronaldo insisted: “I don’t think he’s going through a tough spell.”