Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi as he named his five contenders to win this year Ballon d’Or.
The 33-year-old Portugal international is facing a strong competition to secure the sixth Ballon d’Or title of his career despite winning Champions League with Real Madrid against Liverpool in Kiev and he sought to move a step ahead of Argentina skipper after both superstars are stalled on five each.
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Ronaldo believes Messi will struggle to finish inside the top three and feels France’s World Cup-winning trio of Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe all have a good chance of lifting the trophy for the first time in their careers.
Ronaldo told France Football. Of course
I want to win, this sixth Ballon d’Or.
"It would be a lie to tell you the opposite.
When asked to name his Ballon d’Or rivals, Ronaldo replied: "The same as usual, even if I don’t know if Messi will be on the podium this time. ‘So, let’s say Salah
, Modric, Griezmann, Varane, Mbappe – the French in general because they are world champions.
"But I will wait and see if all these players are still at the top in 10 years, like Messi and I have done, and like we continue to do.
"Still there, on the podium, since more than 10 years.’
Ronaldo has continued to impress in Italy since his sensational summer moves from Real Madrid as he scored a brace for Juventus against Empoli recently which included an absolute screamer takes his tally to seven from 12 matches.