Following the US Presidential election, another bitter campaign for votes is about to come to an end.
The 2016 Ballon d’Or is expected to be won by Cristiano Ronaldo, who would argue that he has enjoyed his best calendar year after winning both the UEFA Champions League (with Real Madrid) and the European Championships (with Portugal).
But the race isn’t over yet and, just like the election in America, there could be a surprise winner.
Lionel Messi is the second favourite to win the prestigious individual accolade, followed by Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale.
The odds of a surprise winner have potentially been enhanced by the recent split between France Football and FIFA.
International managers and captains no longer have a vote; the only people who do are journalists.
Ronaldo names his choice for 2016 Ballon d'Or
But Brazilian Ronaldo, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1997 and 2002, knows which player he would give the award to.
"This year, if I have to choose, I'd pick Cristiano Ronaldo over Lionel Messi for the Ballon d'Or because of what he's won,” Ronaldo told Claro Sports this week, per Marca.
Ronaldo wants Cristiano to retire at Madrid
The retired striker also wants to see his namesake retire at the Bernabeu after extending his contract with the Spanish giants by another five years.
"It'd be best if Cristiano Ronaldo retired at Real Madrid and then worked at the club," he added. "I don't think he's going through a tough spell.”
Cristiano did well to get himself a five-year deal...
Cristiano told reporters this week that he wants to play for another 10 years, despite the fact age appears to be catching up with him - to an extent, anyway.
While the 31-year-old is obviously still one of the world’s best footballers, it’s clear that he’s becoming less influential during matches - particularly the biggest matches.
He also appears to be finding scoring goals more of a struggle.
In eight La Liga appearances this season, the Portuguese forward has scored five goals.
He’s netted seven in 12 in all competitions and will need to up that rate if he’s to surpass the 50-goal mark for the seven successive season.
Does Cristiano Ronaldo deserve the Ballon d’Or this year? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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