Luis Figo has joined former legends and pundits in showering praise on fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo with just a month left for the winner of the prestigious Ballon d'Or to be announced. The former Barcelona and Real Madrid man, who himself was the winner of the award in 2000 has now tipped Ronaldo to take home the trophy.
The player has cited the stupendous performances of Ronaldo for club and country over the course of the last 12 months, where he helped Real Madrid win their 11th UEFA Champions League and then leading his country to the Euro 2016 title.
However, in what can be termed surprising, Figo has told that not only is Ronaldo the best in the business currently but also that he is yet to peak as a player. While 31 years of age is not what can be deemed as peak footballing age for an attacker, Figo believes that we could see Ronaldo better himself over the course of the next few years. The player has already won the coveted trophy in the past and given the support that he has received from former players and pundits alike, it remains highly likely that he would be taking the trophy home for the 4th time ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Speaking to the BBC, Figo was quoted as saying “The best is yet to come from Cristiano Ronaldo, the match against Atletico Madrid was proof of that. Cristiano is a competitive animal. He has won it all and remains ambitious. There is little doubt Cristiano should win the Ballon d'Or this year. He won the Champions League and the Euros, playing a key role in both tournaments."
The adulation from the Portuguese legend has come just before Ronaldo travels with Real Madrid to his childhood club Sporting Lisbon as the two clubs lock horns in the UEFA Champions League. Sporting’s President Bruno De Carvalho has confirmed to the COPE that the club is making grand plans to welcome back their prodigal son who left the Portuguese shores to take the footballing world by the storm.
De Carvalho was quoted as saying “We have prepared something to welcome Cristiano, but we will have to wait and see how much we can do with the UEFA rules. He is a Sporting man and he will feel our support whenever he returns here. I think it will be beautiful and that the people will appreciate what we are going to do for one of our own. Cristiano is like a son to us and we would love to have him back at some stage.”
While the reception might please the player, it might not prove enough when the whistle blows as the Portuguese will be willing to inflict maximum damage on his former club to help the cause of his current side. Ronaldo, who began the season in a rather underwhelming fashion, now seems to be coming to the party and that was on display against Atletico Madrid, where he scored a hat-trick in the derby.
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