Former Real Madrid full-back Roberto Carlos has thrown his weight behind Cristiano Ronaldo for next month’s Ballon d’Or award.
The Brazilian admits he is a big fan of Lionel Messi but feels it is the Portuguese who deserves to pick up the honour this time around.
“I’m a massive fan of Messi but Cristiano Ronaldo has made more of an impression on me because he’s in incredible form at the moment,” he told AS.
“He’s doing everything right and is a leader. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not just saying it because he plays for Real Madrid as that’s got nothing to do with it.
“Messi is incredible and what he’s done and achieved in football is fantastic, yet if I had to choose which of them has been better over the past 12 months then I’d go for Cristiano.”
Roberto Carlos also believes that his countryman Neymar should have been among the candidates for the accolade, while he considers Bayern Munich stopper Manuel Neuer the underdog.
“Neymar is a phenomenon and has adapted to the game in Europe really quickly. He has produced some great performances for Barcelona and the Brazilian national team.
“Messi and Cristiano are constantly developing and Neymar is doing his best to reach their level, but he’s gradually getting close.
“As everyone knows, it’s very difficult to see the Ballon d’Or going to a goalkeeper or a defender, although [Paolo] Maldini and [Fabio] Cannavaro both won it.”