Ahead of the announcement of Ballon d’Or 2918 winner, Cristiano Ronaldo reflected back on the 10 years since he first received the biggest individual football honour in 2008.
In an interview with France Football, the Portuguese star was asked how many players would be capable of playing at the highest level for more than ten years. He replied, “you count them on one hand. There are two, Messi and I.”
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won the Ballon d’Or awards five times each over the last 10 years.
When asked if wants to win Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo said he ‘deserves’ a sixth Balon d’Or trophy, but at the same time ruled out that ‘he is not obsessed by the prize’.
The Juventus forward said, “I already know, in my heart of hearts, that I am one of the best players in history. Of course, I want to win, this sixth Ballon d’Or. It would be a lie to tell you the opposite. I work for that. As I work to score goals and win games without being an obsession. I think I deserve it.”
Ronaldo named the five rivals that are strong contenders this year. On the Ballon d’Or competition this time, Ronaldo said, “I don’t know if Messi will be on the podium this time. So, let’s say [Mohamed] Salah, [Luka] Modrić, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Raphaël] Varane, [Kylian] Mbappé — the French in general because they are world champions.
Ronaldo also threw a challenge at the contenders he named. “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,” said Ronaldo.
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