Former Brazil striker, Ronaldo believes the battle for this year’s Ballon d’Or will still be between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He however tips Messi to slightly edge Ronaldo to the award.
‘I think Messi and Ronaldo are well ahead of Iniesta, who is still a great player and deserves to be there. Without doubt, Ronaldo will win the Ballon d’Or [again]. He is a fantastic player. But I think Messi is still a slight step ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Let’s see on 7 January”, he said but disagreed with those who felt his countryman,Neymar should have been part of the three-man shortlist.
‘Neymar was on the 23-man list. That is a big achievement for someone who plays in Brazil. I believe for Neymar to make the three-man shortlist he will have to play in Europe or to do really well for the
national team in 2014, when the whole world will see him. Neymar is Brazil’s best player. We all know his potential, we know he deserves to be on the three-man shortlist, but the rest of the world doesn’t
see him enough to know this. Depending on his ambition, the shortest path to getting there is to play in Europe”,he added.
He is not also envious of Messi who looks likely to surpass his and Zinedine Zidane’s record as three-time winners of the award.
‘I think it’s become a two-man fight for this individual award between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. In my era, there was Zidane competing against me, there was Figo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho Gaucho, David Beckham all competing against me. There was a list of around ten likely winners every year, and every one of them would have been a worthy winner. But I have absolutely no problem with Messi winning a fourth title. I’m not vain, I don’t mind him surpassing my record. I love watching his football, it’s a pleasure, and I wish him all the best”, he concluded.