Zidane: Cristiano Ronaldo deserves fourth Ballon d’Or

Yokohama, Dec 14 (IANS) Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane says star Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo deserved to win his fourth Ballon d’Or, the award given to the best footballer of the year.

“Cristiano has won so many awards, it is a great achievement for him. He is always doing well, I believe he deserves the fourth Ballon d’ Or,” Zidane said.

The 31-year-old Portuguese beat FC Barcelona’s Argentine maestro Lionel Messi and Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann to win the Ballon d’Or for the fourth time after 2008, 2013 and 2014, reports Xinhua.

Last season, Ronaldo won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, as well as the European Championship with Portugal.

Zidane spoke at the pre-match press conference of 2016 FIFA Club World Cup here on Wednesday before the semi-final clash between Real Madrid and Mexico’s Club America.

“This will be a very important tournament for us,” the Frenchman said. “It is important to maintain our condition after such a long journey, the players are tired.

“But after two days preparation, we are fully prepared for tomorrow’s match,” he added.

The Real Madrid coach refused to give his possible starting 11, but he confirmed that defender Sergio Ramos would miss the semi-final.

“I don’ t think he will play tomorrow,” said the 44-year-old. “He is not in a serious condition, but after a long journey, he is tired. I don’t want to take any risk, so I will take him out of the squad and keep him in the final,” he added.

–IANS

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