Football

Zidane: Ronaldo will win more Ballon d'Or awards than Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo will end up with more Ballon d’Or titles than Lionel Messi, said France legend Zinedine Zidane.

The Portuguese superstar was crowned last year 2014’s top footballer earlier this month, the third time he has collected the award. But it still leaves him one behind his arch rival, Messi from Barcelona.

But Zidane, who is currently coaching Real Madrid’s “B” team, believes that it is a matter of time his 29-year-old Real colleague overtakes the Argentinian.

Another planet

He said: “Ronaldo will win more Ballons d’Or.

“What he is doing is from another planet. If this continues, he will improve even further and may end up winning more than Messi.”

Ronaldo and Messi are widely considered as two of the greatest players in the modern game, and also among the best in the history of the sport.

But Portuguese great Luis Figo, who has played for both Real and Barcelona during his career, thinks that he had rubbed shoulders with players “possibly better” than them.

Others better

Figo said: “Messi and Cristiano are players who make the difference more so than anyone else.

“I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside great players, both as teammates and opponents, possibly better than Cristiano and Messi.”

Holland legend Johan Cruyff also blasted Ronaldo’s consecutive wins as “absurd”, suggesting that some of his performances, especially at last year’s World Cup, were not up to scratch.

Writing in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, he said: “It’s quite clear that this is a Fifa award that I can’t take seriously.

“At the highest level of football, individual and collective talent needs to be combined.

“So for the second year running, it’s ridiculous that the award has been given to a player that has not played in any exceptional manner and only won a few titles.”

Ronaldo clinched the Copa del Rey and Champions League last season.

Undeserving Ronaldo

Cryuff added: “Toni Kroos, Ronaldo’s teammate at Real Madrid and a World Cup winner with Germany last year, was more deserving of the award not just for 2013, but for 2014, too.

“Two years ago, Bayern (Kroos’s former club) won all the titles they could have and the award was given to Ronaldo instead of Toni Kroos or any other member of that Bayern Munich side (that won the Champions League and the Super Cup in 2013).

“In 2014, Kroos was instrumental in Germany winning the World Cup in Brazil, and despite that he wasn’t even among the three finalists. At the same time Cristiano Ronaldo was just a spectator at the tournament in Brazil.”

Sources: Goal.com, Marca, Sports Mole, London Evening Standard

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