Football

Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or

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Koeman praises Ronaldo. (©GettyImages)
Koeman praises Ronaldo. (©GettyImages).

Former Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has called for Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo to be awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or in January, ahead of three-times winner Lionel Messi.

The Dutch coach - now in charge of Feyenoord - says that the Argentine star remains the best player in the world, bar no one, but that it's time for Ronaldo to be rewarded for his form over the past few seasons.

"Cristiano is a great player like Messi and he's been making an impact at Madrid for a while," said Koeman. "Who would I give the Ballon d'Or to? How many does Messi have? - three? Well then I'd give one to Ronaldo."

Ronaldo's impact in La Liga should not be underestimated, and if it wasn't for the sublime performances of maestro Messi, the former Manchester United star would be celebrated as number one.

However, frustratingly for the Real forward, he continues to be overshadowed by the Barca star, not just in Spain but right across Europe - a belief shared by Koeman.

"Messi is the best player in the world right now, better than many other players of the past," he added. "He's a unique player for what he does; he gets results, decides matches, for me he's incredible."

Speaking more generally about his old club, Koeman praised Tito Vilanova for the early impression he's made at the Nou Camp.

"I think Tito's Barça look good, in general very good because the results speak for themselves.

"I think his side is along the same lines, strong despite the injuries. I think they're very good at the moment."

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