Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is a candidate to win the 2015 Ballon d’Or, but he believes FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi will take home this year’s award.
Ronaldo has won the award given to FIFA’s best male player three times, while Messi has won it four times. Ronaldo called his performance in 2014–15 “probably the best season of [his] career,” but he believes Messi will still receive more votes from the national team coaches, captains and journalists who decide the winner.
“To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes,” he said on The Jonathan Ross Show, according to ESPN FC. “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.”
Last week, Ronaldo told BBC he thinks he is a better player than Messi, but he did not label him as his rival in The Jonathan Ross Show interview.
“I don’t have rivals, we have a normal relationship,” Ronaldo said. “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.”
The two players will face each other on Nov. 21 when Real Madrid plays Barcelona in El Clasico.
- Erin Flynn