Brazilian striker legend Ronaldo has backed Lionel Messi to claim a record 4th consecutive Ballon D’Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming the Barcelona deserves the accolade because more people ‘enjoy’ the Barcelona forward’s style.

Messi and Ronaldo have been pitted against one another in the race to win the Ballon D’or and are clear favourties for the award out of the 23-man shortlist.

However Ronaldo believes it is Messi who holds the advantage over his rival, and should go on to become the first player to win the award for the 4th straight year.

Despite describing both players as ‘amazing’, the former Brazilian international believes that it is Messi’s particular style that makes him the slight favourite for the award.

"Messi and Cristiano are amazing, the two best players in the world, but Messi brings more enjoyment to the fans," he said speaking in a press conference while on duty as a member of the board of directors for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Brazilian sensation Neymar is also included on the 23-man Ballon D’Or shortlist which is set to be whittled down to just three players on Thursday.

Speculation in recent weeks has seen the Santos star heavily linked with a move to Europe, with Barcelona believed to have already come to a pre-agreement for him.

Ronaldo believes it is in Neymar’s best interest to leave Brazil for Europe soon, and says it will offer him an education outside of football he can get nowhere else.

"In Europe, players become real people, especially Brazilian footballers,” he said.

“I learned so much, it was great to live for 18 years in Europe and I can say that there is no university to teach you everything I learned playing football there."

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