Ballon d'Or: Rivaldo reveals his pick between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the coveted award
What's the story?
Brazil legend Rivaldo has picked his favorite for lifting the Ballon d'Or in December this year. He believes between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, both of whom, have a chance to win the award for a record sixth time, the Barcelona talisman deserves it more.
In case you didn't know...
Rivaldo, himself a former Blaugrana star won the Golden Ball in 1999, the year in which he also won the FIFA World Player of the Year award, a feat Luka Modric achieved last year.
Modric broke the long-standing monopoly of the duo at the awards ceremony last year, following a great season with both club and country.
Ronaldo was voted second in last year's rankings, while his left-footed adversary ranked fifth behind the French duo of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, an outcome that did not go down well with the fans.
Messi was the top scorer in LaLiga, UEFA Champions League and also won the European Golden shoe this season, after scoring 51 goals this season.
The heart of the matter...
Though we are only halfway through the year, three clear-cut favorites for the esteemed prize have emerged so far. Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, a player who was never dribbled past last season, is now the bookies favorite ahead of usual suspects Ronaldo and Messi.
But, according to Selecao legend Rivaldo, Messi deserves a record sixth recognition at the ceremony ahead of Ronaldo, who statistically has had his worse season in a decade. He said: (Via Marca)
"They are such great players [Messi and Ronaldo]. I like them both. Messi always makes the difference at Barcelona and Ronaldo at every club and the national team, Juventus and Portugal."
"In my opinion, Messi should win the Ballon d'Or this year for everything he has done."
He justified his decision by stating that the prize recognizes individual performances and there's been no individual better than the 32-year-old over the past season. He continued:
"He didn't win the Champions League, but it's an individual prize."
"He has scored many and important goals and I think he deserves it."
After finishing third in Copa America with Argentina, Messi will join Barcelona pre-season training. Ronaldo will kick-off his pre-season with a friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.