Former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has suggested Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Lionel Messi this year.
Ronaldo and Messi have won both domestic titles this season with Juventus and Barcelona, but the latter has outshone his former La Liga rival in most respects.
Ronaldo vs Messi in 2018/19: Five key things to know…
- Ronaldo ended his personal battle with Messi in Spain by leaving for Juventus last summer.
- The Portugal international has scored 28 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions this term ahead of the last round of Serie A fixtures.
- Messi has found the net 50 times in 49 games overall in 2018/19, hitting the 50-goal mark for the sixth time in his career.
- Both Ronaldo and Messi were beaten to the 2018 Ballon d’or by Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
- They will both be aiming to win their sixth Ballon d’Or this year.
The contenders for the Ballon d’Or still have plenty of time to make themselves known as the ceremony doesn’t take place until towards the end of the year.
But Cahill, who was on the long list of nominees for the award in 2006, was asked who he thinks will collect the gong this year in a recent interview with Alkass Sport.
“The reason why I say Ronaldo, I know people won’t agree, is because of what he’s done in Juventus,” Cahill said.
“He left Real Madrid, went there and had such a massive impact on another league. I’ve never seen another player do it at Man United, Madrid for so many years.
“And I know he didn’t win the Champions League but he has such an impact, in any club. If you can take players and put them somewhere at his age, they wouldn’t compare.
“I know people won’t agree, I just appreciate his professionalism.”
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Messi’s chances reduced by UCL elimination – Benatia
Former Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia has also tipped Ronaldo to pip Messi to the post when this year’s Ballon d’Or comes around.
Benatia believes Messi’s chances of winning the award have been harmed by Barcelona’s elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Liverpool.
Ronaldo and Juventus were knocked out in the quarter-finals, the round before Messi crashed out.
“Ronaldo? He deserves to win the Ballon d’or,” Benatia said. “We first have to wait and see who wins the UCL.
“Messi? He had an incredible season. He would deserve it too but with Liverpool beating Barcelona, I think this reduced his chances.”