Cristiano Ronaldo has predicted that Lionel Messi will win his fifth Ballon d’Or title in January despite the Real Madrid forward enjoying what he described as the best season of his career.
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Ronaldo will go head-to-head with his Barcelona rival at the ceremony in Zurich as he hopes to retain the title he won for the third time last year. However, after Messi helped Barça win the treble last season, the former Manchester United player has admitted that he fears this will not be his year.
“To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes,” he said on an appearance on ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show, which will be aired on Saturday night.
“You win competitions, you win the Champions League you win the league in terms of individual. I did probably the best season of my career which is good and I was the highest scorer in Europe [but] it’s all about votes, it’s difficult and to be honest I’m not very worried about that because as I said many times, I never thought I’d win three times to be honest.”
Asked whether the battle to win the prestigious award fuels their rivalry, Ronaldo added: “I don’t have rivals, we have a normal relationship. We shared this stage at Fifa for eight years. No one has done that in the past – only us – so it’s good. I have a good relationship with him, he plays for one club, I play for another club. He won the best for him, I won the best for me. We have a good relationship, we are not home friends but we respect each other.”