Fabio Capello: 'Cristiano Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or over Lionel Messi'

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo scores his team's second goal against Sweden during their World Cup play-off match on November 19, 2013
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Fabio Capello backs Cristiano Ronaldo to triumph over Lionel Messi in the individual stakes and claim the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Former Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to usurp Lionel Messi as the world's best player by winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or in January.

The Portuguese forward is tipped to pick up the game's most coveted individual prize for the first time since 2008, having hit 66 goals for club and country in 2013 - including seven hat-tricks.

However, the 28-year-old faces stiff competition from Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery and the Barcelona ace, but the legendary Italian is convinced that Ronaldo is worthy of the gong for his four-goal contribution in sealing Portugal's World Cup ticket.

Speaking to Onda Cero, Capello said: "If anyone deserves the Ballon d'Or, it's Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He's putting in impressive displays for Real Madrid and Portugal. What he did in the playoff against Sweden was spectacular.

"Scoring four goals and taking your country to the World Cup are things that you have to value when you cast your votes."

The award is poised to be handed out at a FIFA ceremony in Zurich next month.

Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Olympiakos during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013
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