Widely considered to be the best player in the world, current Ballon d'Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo knows he will have to fight for the chance to win match Lionel Messi's record as a five-time winner. The Argentine surpassed the previous record of three Ballon d'Or trophies, held by Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten until 2012.
Although Messi and Ronaldo are expected to battle it out once more for the crown this season, the Portuguese superstar has also named a South American duo and Polish international that could challenge for the accolade this time round, according to Marca.
"I've never tried to hide the fact that it is my intention to become the best."— Soccer Coaching Pro (@SoccerCoaching2) July 24, 2017
-Cristiano Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/7xSs2X40D6
Giorgio Chiellini: "I said it last season, Neymar is at the level of Messi and Ronaldo, and he’s their designated heir for the Ballon d’Or." pic.twitter.com/T8IBDJCoBw— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 24, 2017
Ronaldo has been in the top three shortlist for the Ballon d'Or in nine of the last ten years, missing out on a place in 2010 to Andrés Iniesta and Xavi, along with the winner that year Messi. The former Manchester United star will be keen to overtake Messi as the most successful player in Ballon d'Or history and cement himself as the greatest footballer of all time.