Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has reiterated his view that Cristiano Ronaldo 'would deserve' to win the 2018 Ballon d'Or, reaffirming his status as the best player in the world.
France Football will present the annual prize next month, but an alleged top three leaked partway through the voting process this week suggested that Luka Modric, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe are currently in contention. Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were not included.
"I don't know anything about the Ballon d'Or nominations, but for all Cristiano has done he would deserve it," Allegri said when quizzed about the award at his weekly press conference.
The Juve boss had already said something similar last month when he stated: "Cristiano deserves to win the Ballon d'Or for everything he's done - the goals he's scored, the trophies he's won and what he's doing this season too.
"He's world-class. He's taken us to another level because he's brought international experience and he's raised everyone's belief."
Ronaldo helped Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title last season and has scored nine goals in 15 games since joining Juventus for €100m in the summer. His arrival has also made the Turin club favourites to win the Champions League this season.
Ronaldo and Messi have created a duopoly on the Ballon d'Or over the last decade, with no other player scooping the accolade since Kaka back in 2007.
When Modric was named Best FIFA Men's Player in September it was the first time since 2007 that FIFA's top award - in any of it various forms - had not been given to Ronaldo or Messi. If the Ballon d'Or goes to Modric, Varane or Mbappe this year it would mark the end of an era.