Cristiano Ronaldo may be the clear favourite with bookmakers to win this year's Ballon d'Or, but the Brazilian legend of the same name expects Lionel Messi to continue his dominance of football's top individual accolade.
The Real Madrid superstar is being listed as 4/7 to win the gong this time having been in exquisite form for club and country this year, with Ronaldo's goals sending Portugal to the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
Ronaldo was last awarded the Ballon d'Or in 2008, during his time as a Manchester United player, but Messi has won all four since, and remains in contention to do the same again in 2013.
By his incomparable standards, 2013 has been something of a subdued year for Messi given his problems with injury, and the majority would seem to expect that now is Ronaldo's time to be honoured for his performances.
Brazilian Ronaldo, however, believes Messi will emerge victorious once again when the Ballon d'Or is handed out in the early part of next year, with the Argentine securing an unprecedented fifth consecutive title.
"I think Messi will win the Ballon d'Or again," Ronaldo told Marca.
"Messi has spent the last five years playing so many matches and he is the biggest star in world football. Now, this injury isn't serious, but maybe resting will allow him to recharge his batteries."
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