Coach of French club Marseille Andre Villas-Boas has backed Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo to win Ballon d'Or despite agreeing that both Lionel Messi and the Juventus star are exceptional. "It's difficult... I am Portuguese so of course, I support Ronaldo more. Cristiano took a risk by leaving the best team in the world, with more titles in the world. That kind of risk should be appreciated. Playing in Italy and scoring goals is difficult," Goal.com quoted Villas-Boas as saying.
"Messi is still in his club, Barcelona, which is a big club. He is able to make a difference. But I am more for Cristiano because I'm Portuguese. Both of them are exceptional, it's difficult to choose. It [Ballon d'Or] will become a competition between them," he added. Villas-Boas then even went on to call both Messi and Ronaldo 'extraterrestrials'. "Having these two players in the same generation and watching them is absolutely incredible. They are extraterrestrials," he said.
Earlier this year, Messi was awarded the Best Men's Player by FIFA. Apart from Messi and Ronaldo, Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk is also among the top contenders for the prestigious award. Ronaldo and Juventus currently sit atop Serie A ahead of their match with Sassuolo on Sunday. The forward has scored six goals in 15 matches this season, having fired five of those goals in Serie A play as Juventus maintain a one-point lead over Inter atop the table. Messi's Barcelona and van Dijk's Liverpool are also sitting atop their leagues ahead of matches against Atletico Madrid and Brighton, respectively.
Meanwhile, Maurizio Sarri has also hoped that Cristiano Ronaldo wins his sixth Ballon d’Or, and he also tipped team-mate, Paulo Dybala, to be recognised as the world’s best player in the future. After watching Ronaldo overcoming a persistent knee injury to play a full 90 minutes in Juve’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, Sarri said he was impressed with the 34-year-old’s recovery. “Cristiano did well in the last game, even with some resistance,” Sarri told reporters. “Now he just has to grow in terms of brilliance. “I hope that Cristiano wins the Ballon d’Or, de Ligt the Kopa Trophy and that Dybala will one day be a future Ballon d’Or contender.” The 2019 Ballon d’Or winner will be revealed on December 2.