‘Messi a step below Ronaldo’

Sergio Ramos has insisted that ‘Lionel Messi is a step below’ Cristiano Ronaldo this season, as the race for the Ballon d’Or hots up.

The pair are among the favourites for the annual FIFA prize, but the Real Madrid defender has claimed that his club mate is the best player in the world at the moment.

“Messi is a step below,” he told Movistar. “Not in the past, but this year Cristiano has been the best.

“You have to give the Ballon d’Or to the best player at the moment – it shouldn’t be a personal decision.”

Ramos then commented on Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, and his ambition to win the Champions League.

“Diego has always felt grateful to Spain after spending so many years, and it was his choice to represent us over Brazil.

“Anyone who is clear about their principles, and comes forward to represent our nation will be well received.

“I have a special affection for the Champions League,” he went on. “It is one of the few tournaments I am yet to win.”

Tags Messi Ramos Ronaldo