Ronaldo is a monster... But Messi might miss the new year

Cristiano Ronaldo Goal

Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane has branded Cristiano Ronaldo's form this year as "monstrous"... just as Lionel Messi is ruled out until the new year.

What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster?

Thankfully, it's just Cristiano Ronaldo - but Zinedine Zidane thinks he might just be a monster, all the same.

Indeed, as the tension reaches its peak ahead of this year's Ballon d'Or award, everything seems to be going just rosy for Ronaldo.

Experts are tipping him and Franck Ribery as favourites to claim football's most prestigious individual gong this year - and Zidane has added his name to the long list. 

But number one rival Lionel Messi just can't catch a break.

Case in point: Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has just admitted that Messi might miss the new year. Our attentions, however, are more drawn to Zidane's claims about Madrid and Portugal ace Ronaldo.

"Cristiano Ronaldo has shown what he can do for Portugal and Real Madrid," Zidane told reporters in Brazil.

"He does not need to talk much. Much has been said of him but what he does on the pitch is monstrous. The way he won the match against Sweden, when many people thought Portugal would not qualify... he carried the team on his back.

"He has shown that he is an excellent player. I'm proud to stand beside him [at Madrid], to see him in training, participating in everything."

At the same time, though, the news is more serious for Messi, with Martino stressing the importance of not rushing him back from his hamstring injury.

"He is working as planned, completing the different stages of his recovery," Martino said.

"We hope that he will be ready at the start of January but the closer we get to the date we will see if he needs more time.

"We cannot guarantee when he will be ready; what interests us more is that he has completely recovered."

In light of the injury news - and Zidane's "monstrous" claims - who has had the better 2013, Messi or Ronaldo?

image: © Jan Solo

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch