Legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo wants Barcelona star Neymar to “break the era” of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi by winning the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or in January,
The 39-year-old, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1997 and 2002, believes Neymar will win the coveted individual accolade in January 2017 - but feels either Cristiano or Messi will secure it yet again next month.
Messi is the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d’Or - 1/12 on with most bookmakers - followed by Neymar at 12/1 and Cristiano at 14/1.
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"I would bet on Neymar winning the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2016. I think he’s still growing a lot and I think the growth of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi has reached its peak,” the former Barcelona and Real Madrid striker told FIFA.com.
“I really want Neymar to win and break up the era of Ronaldo and Messi, but I think this year it will be between the two of them again."
Messi deserves to win the 2015 Ballon d'Or
It would be a huge surprise if Messi doesn’t win the award for a record-breaking fifth time in January.
The Argentina international played a key role in Barcelona’s treble success last season, adding three more winners’ medals - the Spanish league title, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League - to his ever-expanding collection.
That Messi also scored 58 goals in 57 appearances last season makes him the favourite - ahead of Neymar, who netted 39 goals in 51 matches - to secure the most prestigious individual accolade in world football.
Ronaldo scored more goals than Messi last season - 61 in 54 matches - but recently admitted that he expects Messi to take the prize due to the Barcelona star’s team success over the past few months.
Will Neymar win the 2016 FIFA Ballon d’Or? Have your say by leaving a comment below.