Football

Didier Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Didier Drogba backs Cristiano Ronaldo for 2016 Balon D'Or

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In recent years, the Ballon D'Or has become a personal duel between Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

Although the likes of Neymar and Luis Suarez have threatened to crash the party with impressive performances on the pitch over the past couple of seasons, one of either Messi and Ronaldo have been voted the winner on each the last eight occasions.

As such, although the 2016 Ballon D'Or winner won't be announced until January 2017, the debate about who deserves the honour is already underway, and the latest to pick between Messi and Ronaldo is a man who has experience of playing against both stars at the highest level.

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As reported by Goal.com, citing comments made to AS, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has nailed his colours firmly to the Cristiano Ronaldo mast this week thanks largely to one specific reason:

"I played against Cristiano in the Champions League final in 2008; he won with Manchester United against Chelsea," the veteran explained.

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"He is a true leader and he deserves the Ballon d'Or for the great work he has done for Real Madrid and Portugal.

"Although he could not play the whole Euro 2016 final, he was the biggest reason that his team got there."

Portugal Euro 2016 Victory Parade

It is interesting to hear Drogba cite the Real Madrid star's leadership qualities as a reason he should win the Ballon D'Or.

Even during Euro 2016, as Portugal made their way through towards what would be a triumphant final against France, Ronaldo was criticised in some quarters for failing to connect with his teammates and too often reacting negatively to them on the pitch.

In the latter stages of the competition, however, there is no doubt that the three-time Ballon D'Or winner proved his leadership qualities.

From motivating speeches before penalty shootouts, to kicking every ball on the sidelines after his injury in the finals, the 31-year-old was crucial to Portugal's success in that regard.

Messi fans will, of course, argue that the Barcelona star showed exactly the same qualities as Argentina made it through to the 2016 Copa America finals this summer.

FBL-COPAM2016-ARG-CHI

Had it not been for a missed penalty, Didier Drogba's comments could very well have fit Messi's own summer activity.

Football is a game of fine margins, however. As things stand, the fact that Ronaldo was able to inspire his country to go one step further than Messi was could well prove the difference when it comes to naming the 2016 Ballon D'Or winner.

Who do you think deserves to win; Messi or Ronaldo? Have your say in the comments below...

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi
Chelsea
Barcelona
UEFA Champions League

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