It may be more than seven months until the 2016 Ballon d'Or winner is announced, but Cristiano Ronaldo has already won the award.
Well, that’s the opinion of Roberto Carlos who believes that the Portuguese superstar has done enough to win his fourth Ballon d’Or trophy.
Ronaldo has enjoyed an impressive calendar year as he hauled his Real Madrid side back into the title race before losing out to Barcelona by just one point.
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And, despite a fairly anonymous 120 minutes in the Champions League final, he scored the winning penalty to claim Madrid’s 11th European Cup trophy.
Although there are still the European Championships and the Copa America - not to mention the opening five months of next season - before the Ballon d'Or winner is announced, Carlos thinks that Ronaldo’s winning spot-kick will secure him the accolade.
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"Cristiano Ronaldo will win the Ballon D'Or, even if he doesn't win the Euros," he told Goal.com.
"Messi is a good player, but winning the Champions League counts for a lot.
"The best player in the world decided the competition. I think he'll be the best in the world again."
What about Messi?
While Carlos is adamant that Ronaldo already deserves the award, Lionel Messi may have something to say about that. He led his Barcelona side to a domestic double by winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey and will team up with Argentina as they aim to win Copa America in the United States.
However, Carlos doesn’t hold the completion that he won twice in high regard due to it arriving so close to the end of the domestic season.
"I don't like the Copa America," he said. "The players are so tired and they can get injured."
If Ronaldo does win the award in January, it would make it nine years in a row that either he or Messi have been crowned Ballon d'Or winner with Kaka back in 2007 being the last different player to win.
Neymar's Ballon d'Or chances
However, there is one man that has been heavily backed to be the next player other than the incredible duo to win the accolade - Neymar.
The 24-year-old scored 24 goals in La Liga last season as Barcelona won the title and Carlos believes that if his compatriot can continue his performances at the top level, he will one day be crowned Ballon d’Or winner.
"He must keep doing what he's doing and he'll be the best someday," he said.
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