Zinedine Zidane says Cristiano Ronaldo 'deserves' to win the Ballon d'Or
Ronaldo, who has had a poor start to the 2016-17 campaign, helped Real Madrid to their 11th European crown last season. The Portuguese superstar also led Portugal to European glory as they defeated France in the final of UEFA Euro 2016.
“He clearly deserves the Ballon d’Or,” claimed Zidane and also said, “Not just at an individual level, but above all on a collective level. He knows everything he is achieving is thanks to his hard work and the work of those around him.”
The Portuguese player scored 35 goals in La Liga last season and another 16 in the UEFA Champions League including a hat-trick against Wolfsburg in the second leg of the quarter-final. Ronaldo captained the Portugal side that ended the nation’s long wait for a major trophy by winning the UEFA Euro 2016. He also scored three goals in the tournament.
The fact that Ronaldo has won two major European trophies makes him the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or for the fourth time, having won it in 2008, 2013 and 2014 previously. He is expected to see off competition from his nemesis, 5-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, who won the La Liga and the Copa Del Rey with Barcelona.
Real Madrid's number 7 is going through a bad run of form as he has found the back of the net only 4 times this season. He was even jeered by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd during last week’s 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.
The competition for places is as intense as ever at Real Madrid as the likes of Alvaro Morata and Marco Asensio have created quite an impression. It will be interesting to see how long Zidane would put his faith in the 31-year-old.
Ronaldo can get angry when he doesn’t score, says Zidane
“Cristiano can be angry when he doesn’t score, but that’s normal,” said Zidane. “He wants to score. But he is not anxious or worried. What Cristiano has done, and is doing, is unique,” said the former Madrid player.
The Madrid manager went on to praise his player, “He has set the bar so high that every time he does not score. He must live with these things. That is what phenomenons get, and he is a phenomenon.”
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Real Madrid, who are on a 25-match unbeaten run, travel to Alaves in this round of fixtures in the La Liga. The hosts have already beaten Barcelona at the Mendizorrotza stadium.