CR7 Tips African To Join Ballon d'Or Race
Cristiano Ronaldo Tips African To Join Ballon d'Or Race
Over the past 10 years, Cristiano Ronaldo and longstanding rival Lionel Messi have dominated the Ballon d'Or, but the Portuguese has now suggested that an African superstar could join the race this year.
Ronaldo won the Golden Ball in four of the past five years to draw level with Messi, and both have now lifted the coveted award five times.
Neymar and Antoine Griezmann finished in third spot in the most recent editions, and many believe one of them can finally end the Ronaldo-Messi reign.
However, Ronaldo himself has now suggested that Liverpool and Egypt superstar Mohamed Salah has a chance this year following his record-breaking debut season with the Reds.
"Mo Salah has been one of the revelations of the year," Ronaldo said, as quoted by the Daily Mirror.
"I hope his injury in the final in Kiev doesn't keep him out.
"Many people talk about the Cristiano Ronaldo-Messi battle but there are other players who have chances to enter the race (for the Ballon d'Or). The Egyptian is one of them."
Ronaldo also spoke about Portugal's 2018 FIFA World Cup opener against Spain, saying that his country could not have asked for a trickier fixture to begin their tournament with, before tipping both sides to reach the knockout stages.
"It's not ideal, but the draw has given us this tie and we have to accept it," he added.
"A defeat on the first day puts you in a bad way for the rest of the tournament, so it's important to start well. But I believe both Spain and Portugal will reach the next round."
Portugal will face Spain on Friday at 20:00, while Egypt start their World Cup campaign against Uruguay at 14:00 on the same day. For a full overview of all the tournament fixtures, you can find Soccer Laduma's pullout World Cup planner in this week's edition, issue 1077.
Do you think Salah could beat Ronaldo and Messi to this year's Ballon d'Or? Have your say in the comments section below.