Cristiano Ronaldo has challenged this year’s Ballon d’Or contenders Mo Salah, Kylian Mbappe, and others to reproduce himself and Lionel Messi and dominate the game for the next decade.
Messi and Ronaldo have won the Ballon d’Or five times each over the last ten years, indicating their all greatness and individual honor, however, their team Real Madrid and Barcelona have had a roller coaster ride in Spanish and European football for much of the period. In an interview released on Tuesday in France Football, Ronaldo said “It’ll be the same [names] as usual, but I don’t know if Messi will be on the podium this time. So, let’s say, Salah, Modric, Griezmann, Varane, Mbappe, the French in general because they’re world champions. But I’m waiting to see if all those players are still at the top in 10 years, as Messi and I have been, and as we continue to be.
We’re always there, on the podium for more than 10 years,” said Ronaldo, who has been included on the 30-strong list of nominees. People would like it to be the end of an era, but that’s not the case. I am and will still be there. And I deserve it. My performances speak for themselves. Don’t count me out!”
With the addition of one more Ballon d’Or will rather make the 33-year-old as the most successful players in the award history, but he acclaimed that he would be running out of sleep if he doesn’t come out as the winner which would be revealed in Paris on 3rd December “I have said several times winning a sixth Ballon d’Or isn’t an obsession,” insisted the former Manchester United man, who has claimed the honor the last two years. “I already know, deep down, that I’m one of the best players of all-time. Of course, I want to win it, that sixth Ballon d’Or. I would be lying if I told you the contrary.
“I work for that. Just like I work to score goals and win matches without that becoming an obsession. The Ballon d’Or, yes, I think I deserve it this year. And I work hard for that to be the case every year. I know what I do, that I compile stats regularly all year long, what I win in terms of trophies. And you know it just as well as me.
“But I also know what the others do, the credit they have, and I have a lot of respect for them. If I don’t win the Ballon d’Or, I’ll sleep just the same at night, because I know who I am. Yes, I dream of winning the Ballon d’Or for the sixth time and to pass, at the current time, Lionel Messi. But I don’t control the vote, just my performances.”
“That’s the most difficult thing in this sport: staying at the top, maintaining your level. Going to the gym for three or four hours to keep your body in shape, that’s fine. What’s tough is to keep that work ethic, that motivation that allows you to be the same player long term. That’s very hard. Really. And it’s even more so when you have done that for so many years, when you’ve been at the top for 12 years, without interruption, with trophies to win every year. No one understands that.
“Do you know how many players are able to be at the top of their form for more than 10 years? You can count them on the fingers of one hand. OK, let’s say there are two: Messi and I. That’s why it’s always important to have a challenge, a feat to accomplish, and that’s the reason I’m here. I needed adrenaline, stimulation. To write a new page in the novel of the world’s best player.”
It has always been a battle between the two biggies Ronaldo and Messi to dominate Spain. However, Ronaldo gave some space for the rivalry by switching on to European champs Juventus in the summer. According to Ronaldo, the sudden switch was actually a part of the strategy that assisted him to maintain his position as one of the greatest footballers of all time