Former Brazil superstar Roberto Carlos says he would vote for Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi in the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Ronaldo and Messi are the leading contenders to claim the crown, which is presented in January, although the Barcelona star is listed ahead of his Real Madrid counterpart by the bookmakers, given his record breaking season.

Messi scored 73 goals for Barcelona in all competitions last term - a European record - while he is also on course to surpass Gerd Muller's historic haul of 85 in a calendar year.

Should he win the Ballon d'Or again, it will be Messi's fourth consecutive triumph, with the Nou Camp man the only player to have won the award since Ronaldo claimed the trophy in 2008, while he was still with Manchester United.

The great debate about who is superior between Ronaldo and Messi continues to rumble on and Carlos has now contributed his thoughts, although perhaps not for the reasons many would suspect, given his Real Madrid allegiances.

According to Carlos, Ronaldo should pip Messi to the Ballon d'Or on this occasion, as the latter is close to running out of room in his trophy cabinet.

"Obviously everyone’s talking about [Lionel] Messi, but I reckon he’s won enough and there cannot be much more room in his trophy cabinet," Carlos told

"Therefore, I’d vote for Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s someone who can win matches for you many different ways, from varying situations in attack. He deserves to win it again.

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