La Liga 2016-17: Cristiano Ronaldo has put the Ballon d'Or debate to bed, says Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid brushed aside rivals Atletico Madrid in an emphatic manner as Cristiano Ronaldo was the star of the show at the Vicente Calderon. Real won 3-0 as Ronaldo scored yet another hat trick as a sensational year continues for the superstar. Zinedine Zidane was all praises for his star man as he remarked that with his three-goal performance against Atletico, Ronaldo has put the debate for Ballon d'Or to bed and is all set to win it for the fourth time.
Ballon d'Or is considered as the highest appreciation that an individual can get in the footballing world with Ronaldo winning it earlier in 2008 and then winning it consecutively in 2013 and 2014. This year can be said as Ronaldo's best calendar year career wise as he won the Champions League with Real and also won the prestigious Euros with his national team, Portugal against all odds.
As the Portuguese scored his 39th career hat trick, Zidane praised his talisman saying, "I've never had any doubts that Cristiano is the best. Tonight ends that debate, the Ballon d'Or will be for him. I had no doubt, and it is not the three goals he scored that will make me change my mind. He demonstrated it all last season, he demonstrates it every time. We expect a lot from him, but he is above everyone else."
Real Madrid have started this season in a dream manner as they are yet to be beaten domestically or in Europe, and the result against Atletico proved their might this season. Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo travel to Sporting Lisbon today as the Portuguese will set to set foot on the ground where it all began for him. A win would confirm their qualification for the knockout stages.
On Real's great run this season, Zidane showed pleasure but also reflected on the fact that his team had played better in the past. He continued, "I do not know if it's our best match of the season (3-0 win against Atletico) but we did a huge game against a tough opponent.
“We managed the game well and we started strong. I'm happy with the way we played. Few teams are capable of coming here and winning 3-0. We put the necessary intensity against a difficult opponent who always complicates the task on his ground."
Cristiano Ronaldo is the bookmaker's favourite to win the coveted prize in January as Skybet puts him at odds of 1/7 while the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann are at odds of 5/1 and 8/1 respectively.