Football

FIFA Ballon d'Or contenders: In quotes

FIFA Ballon d'Or contenders: In quotes. (©GettyImages)
FIFA Ballon d'Or contenders: In quotes. (©GettyImages).

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Andres Iniesta will tomorrow go head-to-head for world football's most prestigious individual award, the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Created by France Football magazine in 1956 to honour the best European player of the previous calendar year, three years ago it was merged with FIFA's World Player of the Year.

Now, the award - voted for by journalists, and national coaches and captains - now recognises the best players in world football.

Here, GiveMeFootball profiles the three Kings of Spain ahead of Monday's ceremony in Munich, with various quotes from some of the game's biggest names.

on Cristiano Ronaldo...

"Portugal have a national team called Cristiano Ronaldo and a group of players who run after him." - former Portugal manager Carlos Queiroz.

"He's an unbelievable player. We have a pantheon of great players and Ronaldo definitely compares with any of them. He had a bit of the Eric Cantona about him. He was definitely good value for Madrid." - Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager.


on Andres Iniesta...

"The press often ask me about whether Messi or Ronaldo is the best, but for me something is very clear: Andres Iniesta is the number one. He is able to do even more difficult things on the pitch. He is magic with the ball and so influential." - David Silva, Manchester City midfielder.

"When he has the ball, it's like everything else stops – like the camera is going in slow motion. I've been playing with him since we were 15, and I have never, ever seen him play badly." - Fernando Torres, Chelsea striker.


on Lionel Messi...

"I feel sorry for those who want to compete for Messi's throne – it's impossible, this kid is unique. He doesn't just score lots of goals, but he scores lots of great goals, each one being better that the last." - Pep Guardiola.

"Some people do not like Ronaldo because he is a great player, good-looking and has sex with all the ladies. People get jealous. The only bad thing about Ronaldo's life is Messi. If it was not for him, Ronaldo would have been the best player in the world for five years in a row now." - Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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