Cristiano Ronaldo led his nation to their second major trophy and after that memorable triumph, the goalscoring machine opened up about his 2019 Ballon d'Or odds.
The 34-year-old has become synonymous with the prestigious award, winning five of the last 11 prizes. He is currently tied with Lionel Messi for most wins but had only an outside shot at clinching a record-breaking sixth accolade at the end of last season.
Fast forward to today and after captaining Portugal to the UEFA Nations League title, his third silverware since leaving the Bernabeu last summer, the Juventus ace was asked if he is confident of winning France Football's award later this year. Ronaldo remained coy with his response but hinted that his impressive debut season in Serie A and his success in 2019 does merit him recognition.
“I’ve won three competitions, I’ve been fine, as always. Throughout my career there has not been a time when I have played badly and this year has not been different,” Cristiano stated in an interview with Cadena Ser’s ‘El Larguero’ program.
“In 16 years the numbers speak for themselves. What else can I do? Do I deserve the Golden Ball? I do not know. I leave that to you, who are the ones who evaluate my performance. I’m not going to value myself.”
The two favorites for the Ballon d'Or this year are believed to be Virgil Van Dijk and Lionel Messi. The Dutch defender was named Premier League Player of the Season despite missing out on the English top-flight title and got his hands on the Champions League crown in what was undeniably a remarkable season for the former Southampton center-back.
As for Leo, he only has the Spanish Primera Division to back his claim after coming up short in Europe and the Copa del Rey, but his 51 goals and 22 assists in 50 appearances in 2018/19 has him up there. Furthermore, with the Copa America set to kick off, La Pulga would be the odds-on favorite should he guide Argentina to the title.