Cristiano Ronaldo will receive his fifth Ballon d’Or award atop the Eiffel Tower on Thursday according to reports.
After guiding Real Madrid to an historic defence of their Champions League crown in June, Mundo Deportivo have reported that French icon David Ginola will be on hand to present the trophy to Ronaldo at the top of France’s most iconic structure.
France Football magazine, who run the award, are allegedly looking to challenge the pomp pageantry presented by FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards, and a ceremony atop the Eiffel Tower would undoubtedly make a splendorous impression.
The Portuguese looks set to draw level with Lionel Messi by winning his fifth award, thanks in no small part to his performances in last season’s Champions League.
Madrid went on to win their 12th European title and Ronaldo topped the scoring charts with twelve goals, including two in the final against Juventus.
Last month, a photo began to circulate appearing to show Lionel Messi winning the award for the world’s best player on the cover of France Football magazine itself.
However since then, more concrete reports have surfaced which seem to strongly suggest that the gong will go to Ronaldo instead.
Real president Florentino Perez has also added further fuel to the fire after stating this week that Ronaldo “is going to win his fifth Ballon d’Or”.
Despite his successes earlier in the year, Ronaldo has had a season to forget thus far, having scored just twice in the league.
Madrid find themselves eight points adrift of league leaders Barcelona, they’re second in their Champions League group behind Tottenham and are suffering from their worst start to a season since 2008.
Together, Messi and Ronaldo have shared the previous nine Ballon d’Or awards, with Kaka’s win in 2007 the last time the gong went to anyone other than the Argentine or Portuguese superstars.
At 32 years old, Ronaldo would become the third oldest player of all time to win the Ballon D’or. Fabio Cannavaro, who picked up the gong in 2006 following Italy’s World Cup triumph was 33 at the time of winning, but he has a long way to go before he can challenge Stanley Matthews, who was 41 year old when he was awarded the inaugural Ballon d'Or back in 1956.