Football

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.

Zinedine Zidane's weird response when asked if Ronaldo will beat Messi to Ballon d'Or

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It would take a brave man to bet against Cristiano Ronaldo winning the 2017 Ballon d'Or.

Sky Bet have the Real Madrid man at 1/33 to win football's most prestigious individual prize, which would take his tally to five, equal with Lionel Messi.

It would be more than deserved, in truth, given Ronaldo fired Los Blancos to a La Liga and Champions League double last season.

Ronaldo isn't as prolific as he once was in front of goal, yet he still managed to scored 25 goals in 29 league games.

It was in the Champions League that the 32-year-old was most important for Real, though, scoring 12 goals in 13 appearances and a brace in the final against Juventus.

Real's players all believe the 2017 Ballon d'Or is a foregone conclusion, with Isco saying on Monday: "Cristiano has to win it, absolutely."

Captain Sergio Ramos has also tipped Ronaldo to equal Messi's haul of five, while Chelsea's Eden Hazard thinks his achievements over the past year speak for themselves.

"I think Ronaldo deserves the prize because he won with Portugal, he won La Liga and he won the Champions League," said the Belgian.

"Should I win the prize sometime in the future, I have to win everything (with Chelsea and Belgium)."

Real Madrid v APOEL Nikosia - UEFA Champions League

Zinedine Zidane has previously insisted Ronaldo should pip Messi to Ballon d'Or glory, too, but his latest comments make for interesting reading.

For one reason or another, when the Frenchman was asked if Ronaldo will beat Messi on Monday, he responded by saying he didn't want to be drawn into the debate.

"I'm not going to put anyone on the podium," said the Real boss. "The Ballon d'Or is something else, people vote."

Zidane then brought Isco into the equation: "I will only tell you that I like Isco a huge amount because he's always creative, he always tries.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-BETIS

"For me, the player that always tries ends up with success."

Strange. Zidane has never hesitated to show support for Ronaldo before, but as the Ballon d'Or ceremony draws nearer, he's become pretty reserved.

Could it be because he thinks Messi has a slight chance? Who knows, but it's a bizarre response that probably won't go down very well with Ronaldo.

The Portugal international will expect his manager to publicly support him, but on this occasion Zidane wasn't prepared to humour it.

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
Zinedine Zidane
Football
La Liga
Karim Benzema

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