Real Madrid and Portugal colleague Pepe has given his backing to Cristiano Ronaldo picking up the FIFA Ballon d’Or for 2013.
Ronaldo was confirmed yesterday as one of the three finalists, alongside Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery, in contention for the annual prize.
“The only player who deserves it is Cristiano because it’s an individual award and he’s playing brilliantly this year,” teammate Pepe has mused to reporters.
“For example, Spain won the World Cup in 2010 but no Spanish player won this award. He’s doing his job really well and that helps us a lot.
“His return to the team? He’s happy to be back with us. I hope that he scores tomorrow and helps Real Madrid and also improves his goal scoring figures for this year.”
Pepe was commenting before Madrid’s Champions League matchday six meeting with Copenhagen. Madrid are already assured of a place in the Last 16, but the remaining positions in the group remain open.
“We’re taking this game totally seriously because we wear a very important shirt. Tuesday evening the players will take to the field wanting to win the game.
“We know it will be difficult, but from the first minute we want to show why we have come here. We’re professionals and we always want to win and tomorrow we’ll do the same.”
Pepe was also asked about Angel di Maria’s apparent unhappiness and on his own state of mind.
“He looks fine to me. He’s a fantastic player and an important part of our squad. He always helps the team like every other player in this squad.
“Myself? I never thought about leaving Real Madrid because I love this club, the people love me and I’m happy with the team and the city.”