Brazil legend Ronaldo backs Lionel Messi to win FIFA Ballon d'Or
Brazil legend Ronaldo has backed Barcelona forward Lionel Messi to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2012 award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
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The three-time winner of the award retired from football in 2011 following an illustrious career, which ended with a two-year spell at Corinthians.
Ronald has stated he would prefer the Blaugrana star to win the award over his fellow nominee Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 36-year-old said: "It’s still a battle between those two – Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Messi would get my vote because, in addition to being decisive, scoring loads of goals and winning trophies, he’s able to bring a special and different kind of magic to football.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is a very technical, very skilful and very pragmatic player, but Messi continues to produce the unexpected on a regular basis."
The former Seleção star, who appeared 98 times and scored 62 goals for Brazil, also spoke about what awards like the Ballon d'Or mean to footballers and insists there will be several candidates who have their eyes on the prize, including Santos star Neymar.
"Every player dreams of being recognised internationally as the best player in the world," he added.
"Of course only one player can win each year, but players don’t only think about it at this time of year. You think about it all the time. This is the fruit of a whole year of playing well on a regular basis, scoring goals, being important to your team and winning titles."