Ronaldo tips Messi for Ballon d'Or No. 5

LONDON • Cristiano Ronaldo has predicted that Lionel Messi will win his fifth Ballon d'Or title in January, despite the Real Madrid forward enjoying what he described as the best season of his career.

Ronaldo will go head-to-head with his Barcelona rival at the ceremony in Zurich, as he hopes to retain the title he won for the third time last year .

However, after the Argentinian international helped Barcelona win the treble last season, the Portugal star has admitted that he fears this will not be his year.

"To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes," he said on an appearance on ITV's The Jonathan Ross Show, which will be aired tonight.

"You win competitions, you win Champions League, you win the league in terms of individual.

MUTUAL RESPECT

He won the best for him, I won the best for me. We have a good relationship, we are not home friends but we respect each other.

CRISTIANO RONALDO of Real Madrid on fellow superstar, Barcelona's Lionel Messi

"I did probably the best season of my career, which is good, and I was the highest scorer in Europe (with 48 goals). But it's all about votes, it's difficult and to be honest I'm not very worried about that because as I said many times, I never thought I'd win three times to be honest."

Asked whether the battle to win the prestigious award fuels their rivalry, Ronaldo added: "I don't have rivals, we have a normal relationship.

"We shared this stage at Fifa for eight years. No one has done that in the past - only us - so it's good. I have a good relationship with him, he plays for one club, I play for another club.

"He won the best for him, I won the best for me. We have a good relationship, we are not home friends but we respect each other."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2015, with the headline 'Ronaldo tips Messi for Ballon d'Or No. 5'. Print Edition | Subscribe