Manchester United talisman Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t believe Lionel Messi deserves a seventh Ballon d’Or. Instead, he has named who he thinks deserves the award “without a doubt”.
The Ballon D’Or is arguably the most prestigious individual honour in world football. Messi currently leads the way with six awards, closely followed by Ronaldo with five. However, that gap is expected to widen when the 2021 edition is announced in late November with Messi the current hot favourite.
The likes of Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho cannot be discounted. Lewandowski broke the all-time Bundesliga scoring record for a single season (41) when surpassing Gerd Muller (40) last year.
Jorginho, meanwhile, was an integral figure twice as Chelsea lifted the Champions League and Italy won Euro 2020.
Nonetheless, Ronaldo doesn’t believe that pair, nor Messi should win the award.
Writing on Facebook (via the Mirror), Ronaldo claimed former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema is more deserving.
Ronaldo declared: “Without a doubt, my candidate for the Ballon d’Or is Benzema. The best striker, brutal level for 10 years and champion above all. Don’t you think?”
Benzema is in the form of his life with Los Blancos, though one figure within the game still believes Ronaldo should win.
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Unsusprisingly, Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, backed his client to match Messi’s tally of six.
“The Ballon d’Or has only one name, Cristiano Ronaldo,” he told France Football (via the Mirror).
“He has never deserved it as much as this year. Top scorer in Serie A and at the Euros. He holds the record for goals in Champions League and is the only one who has won everything in three different countries.”
“He is the best scorer in the history of football. It is a decisive thing, it must be so for the trophy, because he continues to prove to be the best player in history.”
Raiola involvement could backfire after Pogba ‘offer’
Meanwhile, Barcelona have been ‘offered’ the chance to sign Manchester United ace Paul Pogba, though the involvement of super agent Mino Raiola could wind up scuppering a deal, per a report.
Pogba, 28, is in the final year of his contract with Manchester United. The club are understood to wish to tie the Frenchman down to fresh terms. However, Pogba is yet to make a final decision and is seemingly content to weigh up his options amid widespread interest from the continent.
ESPN have now provided a fresh update on the situation. They claim Barcelona have been ‘offered’ Pogba with agent Raiola ‘sounding out Europe’s heavyweights’.
On their end, cash-strapped Barcelona are stated to be receptive to the idea of signing Pogba for nothing. With their crippling financial debts well documented, Barca are now heavily reliant on free agent signings.
However, a pair of obstacles stand in the way of a potential switch. Firstly, Raiola could in fact be a barrier to the progress of his client’s deal. ESPN say Barcelona’s money issues are so dire that they may not even be able to afford Raiola’s commission.
Additionally, fitting Pogba’s massive wages into their salary structure would be a challenge. This comes at a time where many of their senior stars have been asked to take pay cuts.