Football: Cristiano Ronaldo to win Ballon d'Or, claims Spanish press

Ronaldo cools his hands with water during the match against Barcelona on Dec 3, 2016.
Ronaldo cools his hands with water during the match against Barcelona on Dec 3, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo will be awarded this year's Ballon d'Or, according to reports in the Spanish media.

The win would be Ronaldo's fourth and would be in line with public expectations.

The Real Madrid and Portugal forward has enjoyed a trophy-laden year on the pitch, winning the Champions League at club level and captaining his country to European Championships success.

Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo claims that the Real Madrid forward will win football's top individual prize when it is announced on Monday (Dec 12), said the Daily Mail.

Mundo Deportivo claims the winner has already been chosen and that Ronaldo has held off competition from long-standing rival Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez, the Mail said.

Spanish journalist, Francesc Aguilar, claims France Football - the newspaper which first founded the award - will fly to Madrid on Thursday to conduct an interview with Ronaldo.

He will then be announced as the winner the following Monday evening, after which the interview will be published.

However, he faces stiff competition from Messi, who has already won the Ballon d'Or five times, and Luis Suarez - who scored a remarkable 59 goals in 53 games for Barcelona last season.

Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann is also in contention for the award which will, for the first time since 2009, not be associated with Fifa, said the Mail.