Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has backed the Manchester United forward to claim this year’s Ballon d’Or award and feels his client has proven beyond doubt he is the greatest player in history. The iconic 36-year-old attacker has won the prestigious prize five times in his career and will go level with Lionel Messi’s record tally should he come out on top at next month’s ceremony in Paris.
Messi, the current holder, is the bookmakers’ favourite to defend his crown, while Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are being tipped as serious contenders on the back of Chelsea’s Champions League success last season. But Ronaldo’s representative, Mendes, believes the Portuguese’s astonishing goalscoring exploits should make him the frontrunner for the award. ‘The numbers do the talking and they should be enough,’ Mendes told France Football. ‘He scored 115 goals for Portugal, becoming the world record holder with the national teams.
He is the best scorer in the history of football. ‘It is a decisive thing and means he must win the trophy because he continues to prove that he is the best player in history.’ Mendes insists ‘the Golden Ball has only one name’ this year, with Ronaldo continuing to reach personal milestones and break records at the age of 36. ‘Do not forget that Cristiano was the top scorer in Serie A, he was the top scorer in the last European championships, he has the record for the most goals in the Champions League and is the only player to have won everything in three different and very competitive countries like Italy, Spain and England,’ he added. ‘All of this together makes him absolutely unique. From my point of view, the Golden Ball has only one name: Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking to L’Equipe last week, Messi revealed that he will be voting for Paris Saint-Germain team-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. ‘Obviously, I have two players in my team that I would vote for, Ney and Kylian,’ Messi told L’Equipe. ‘Afterwards, there are players at the individual level who have had a great season, like Lewandowski, Benzema. ‘But it’s hard to say because what you have done at the collective level means a lot to win the Golden Ball.