Cristiano Ronaldo is in the hunt for his sixth Ballon d’Or crown, while five times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi also is in contention for the prestigious award this year.
The ex-Real Madrid man believes Mohamed Salah is his rival for the award this year because of the brilliant season he had at Liverpool. However, the 33-year-old has challenged Salah to prove that he is more than just a one-season wonder.
After a mesmerizing debut campaign for the Reds, scoring 44 goals in just 52 games, Salah helped Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool reach the final of UEFA Champions League. But an unfortunate shoulder injury in the early minutes of the final forced him off and Real Madrid went on to win it 3-1. The Egyptian is in the 30-man shortlist for the France Football Ballon d’Or, along with Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Leo Messi.
Earlier last summer, Cristiano joined Juventus in a shocking 88million move, claiming that he wasn’t feeling valued by his previous club anymore. Since joining the Italian Champions, the Portuguese forward has scored 7 goals in 12 appearances he made in all competitions this season.
When asked about the Ballon d’Or contenders for this season, Ronaldo mentioned Salah, but at the same time, he appeared to aim a dig at the Egyptian by claiming that his impact might be fleeting.
“Of course I want to win, this sixth Ballon d’Or,” Ronaldo told France Football.
“It would be a lie to tell you the opposite”, he then also added, “So, let’s say Salah, (Luka) Modric, (Antoine) Griezmann, (Raphael) Varane, (Kylian) Mbappe – the French in general because they are world champions.”
“But I will wait and see if all these players are still at the top in 10 years, like Messi and I have done, and like we continue to do. Still there, on the podium, for more than 10 years.”
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or in four occasions (in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017) at his former club Real Madrid, while the other one coming at Manchester United in 2008.
If he wins it this time, the Juventus talisman will become the first player ever to win it with three different clubs.
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