Barcelona and Real Madrid attackers go head-to-head for prestigious award.
The Barcelona winger and Real Madrid attacker are both nominated for the award, the winner of which will be announced on January 13, while Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery is also in the running.
Messi is considered a narrow favourite by many – he had scored 14 goals in 14 games this season before picking up an injury last month.
However, after his hat-trick against Sweden fired Portugal to next summer’s World Cup, Ronaldo then broke a Champions League scoring record in midweek with his ninth goal of the group stage this week, and is many people’s choice for the award.
But in the eyes of the Brazilian Ronaldo, who won the award in 2002, Messi is in a class of his own. “I’d bet everything on Messi,” Ronaldo is quoted as saying by Spanish website MARCA. “He’s an incredible player – he’s playing very well but has been injured over the last month.
“They’re both so evenly matched that Cristiano also deserves it. They're the two best players of the past five or six years.”
Meanwhile, former Arsenal star Thierry Henry has backed Ribery to take the award, saying the Frenchman’s unselfish nature puts him above the other two contenders.
Henry said: “He prefers to create goals than score them. He’s the kind of player you want to play alongside. Obviously, I’d like him to win.”
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