Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has declared 'best player' Cristiano Ronaldo as the favourite for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or.
The Portuguese forward has been firing on all cylinders this season, and has scored 13 goals in 12 Primera Division appearances as well as a stunning eight in only four Champions League matches.
It is widely accepted that Ronaldo and Barcelona star Lionel Messi are the best players in the world, but the Madrid player has come up short against the Argentine on several occasions when the Ballon d'Or has been awarded.
This time around the tide could be turning however, as Messi has struggled with his fitness over in Catalonia.
Ancelotti believes Ronaldo thoroughly deserves the prestigious award this time around, and has praised the forward's all-round attitude.
Speaking to Onda Cero's 'At First Touch' programme, he said: "It's simple. For me the best player right now is Cristiano.
"He's the top scorer in the league, the top scorer in the Champions League and if we talk about technical quality he is the best.
"He has a great professionalism and seriousness, before and after training. That is the key to be at his level. He has not missed a minute (of training), nor does he want to."
The Los Blancos boss has also backed Gareth Bale, who arrived at the club for a reported world record-breaking €100million fee in the summer, to emulate his Portuguese teammate's fantastic achievements.
The Welsh winger initially struggled with fitness and injuries after arriving from Tottenham Hotspur, and had to face criticism for his lack of contribution.
But, in the last three games, Bale has rediscovered his very best form with three goals and four goals for the La Liga giants.
"Yes (he can follow in Ronaldo's footsteps)," Ancelotti continued. "Many players had great problems in Madrid (when they first joined).
"I am told the Bernabeu whistled (Zinedine) Zidane initially."
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU