Pele of Brazil has voted Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best player, contrary to an opinion from Pope Francis, who said last year that he’d vote Lionel Messi as the best footballer of all time, ahead of Pele himself and Diego Armando Maradona.
Football analysts and bookmakers seem to favor the Portuguese star as this year’s Ballon d’Or winner.
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s immeasurable contributions to Real Madrid’s historical La Liga and UEFA Champions League double gives him an advantage over other favorites for the coveted award.
Pele said he has “no doubts” that the Portugal international footballer will carry the day.
“Two years ago I gave the (Ballon d’Or) trophy to him and it was an honor for me,” said the Brazilian football legend who wrongly pronounced Ronaldo’s name as the last global football event.
The 76-year-old told reporters at a media event, “The best player in the world? No doubt. As I have mentioned, I think that today there is no doubt the best player, the best scorer and the best forward is Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo may be on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu following allegations of tax fraud.
In June 2016, the 4-time World Best Footballer proudly told Undici, an Italian magazine, that he has been the best in the last 20 years.
In his words: “Where do I put myself among the best players of the last 20 years? I need to think positive and believe, with the results I’m getting, that I’m the best.
“The best always influence their sport, so I think I’ve had a major impact. I can’t say how, only time will tell, but if you can run fast, jump higher than the others and be strong and agile at the same time, you can make your talent even more effective,” he added.
“I worked very hard to reach the highest level and I still [work as hard] to stay where I am.
“I adopt the same attitude and dedication in every training session and every game to keep making history in this sport.”
Ronaldo continued: “[On the Portuguese national team], I feel like a citizen of the world, but also a Portuguese who loves his country and is proud to represent it at the highest levels for a long time yet.
“After Euro 2004, I was responsible for a great [Portuguese] generation. I know many boys and girls who see me today as an inspiration.”