Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is in the running for the Sportsman of the Year award in Portugal.

According to Portuguese news site A Bola, Ronaldo is up against national team coach Paulo Bento, and Sporting teen star Bruma among others for the award.

The Real Madrid has enjoyed a fantastic 2012 so far, and is in the running for this year's Ballon d'Or - football's most prestigious individual prize.

Ronaldo won the award in 2008, but Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has won three on the bounce since, and is favourite again this year.

The rival El Clasico superstars have been a class apart for the past year, Messi scoring a league-leading 50 La Liga goals last year, with Ronaldo just behind on 46, while Ronaldo and Madrid took home their first league title since 2008.

The case for both stars is strong on the global stage, but Ronaldo has less intense competition, and far less scrutiny, for a similar award in his homeland.

The winner of the Portuguese athlete award will be announced next month, on November 15 at the Annual Gala Sports Confederation of Portugal.

The Sportsman of the Year award is decided by a public vote, and if Facebook 'likes' are anything to go by, Ronaldo is one of the most popular athletes in the world.

The Portuguese star recently became the first footballer to pass 50million 'likes' on the social media site, and the Real Madrid forward is a global superstar.

As well as winning La Liga, Ronaldo helped guide Portugal to the Euro 2012 semi-finals, only to lose to Iberian rivals and eventual winners Spain.

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