Rio Ferdinand backs ex-Man United star Cristiano Ronaldo for Ballon d’Or

The prestigious individual accolade will be decided at a ceremony in Zurich tonight, with CR7 getting the defender’s vote.

Cristiano Ronaldo will look to retain his Ballon d’Or award at a ceremony in Zurich tonight and has been given a vote of confidence by former Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand.

The QPR centre-half has spoken out about the Portuguese attacker’s considerable talents, and feels that the Real Madrid man should win the accolade ahead of Lionel Messi or Manuel Neuer.

“He’s the best player on the planet,” The Daily Mail quote Ferdinand as saying about Ronaldo.

“Him or Messi (should win the Ballon d'Or), as they are the best players in the world. Messi was fantastic last year but Ronaldo I think nicked it; he played particularly well scoring lots of goals last year as well.

“He scored more than Messi last year I think, and he won the Champions League and that sets him apart.

“(Messi is just) a magician, a genius. Someone of his height and physical capability, he shouldn’t be doing what he’s doing but he’s breaking all the records.

“The other day he scored a goal, he nutmegged someone and just passed it into the back of the net and that’s the difference between him and Ronaldo.

“Ronaldo is more pace and power, both feet, scores every type of goal, whereas Messi passes the ball into the net and Ronaldo more forces the ball into the back of the net a lot of the time.”

Ferdinand played alongside the Portuguese attacker while at Manchester United and as such is in a unique position to judge his ability.

Ronaldo had a limited influence on Portugal’s chances at the World Cup in the summer, but was a key player in Real Madrid winning their tenth European Cup last season.

Alongside Messi the La Liga pair continue to take the footballing world by storm and are breaking new records on seemingly a weekly basis with their outstanding feats of goalscoring.

Messi has won the Ballon d’Or four times, while Ronaldo has been the victor on two occasions.

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