New Delhi: Portuguese super-star Cristiano Ronaldo predicted his great-rival Lionel Messi to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or Award in January for the fifth time in a celebrated career.
Ronaldo, 30, who claimed to have "probably the best season of his career" in 2014-15 will go head-to-head with the Argentine at the ceremony in Zurich.
"To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes," he said on The Jonathan Ross Show, set to air on Saturday night.
Messi helped Barcelona win the continental treble last season - lifting the UEFA Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey trophies; and with the national side, reached the Copa America final.
"You win competitions, you win the Champions League you win the league in terms of individual. I did probably the best season of my career which is good and I was the highest scorer in Europe [but] it’s all about votes, it’s difficult and to be honest I’m not very worried about that because as I said many times, I never thought I’d win three times to be honest,” the former Manchester United player added.
For Ronaldo, success came in personal terms. Ronaldo was the top scorer in Champions League last term, in which Real Madrid exited in the semis to Juventus. He also became the all-time record scorer for Real Madrid.
The fight for the world's best player's award has been reduced to a duopoly for some years with either Messi or Ronaldo winning it in the past seven years.
But, Ronaldo declined to call Messi his "rival" and admitted that two of world's greatest living icons have indeed "have a good relationship".
"I don't have rivals, we have a normal relationship. We shared this stage at FIFA for eight years. No one has done that in the past -- only us -- so it's good. I have a good relationship with him, he plays for one club, I play for another club. He won the best for him, I won the best for me. We have a good relationship, we are not home friends but we respect each other," he added.
Ahead of the January 11 ceremony, the three finalists for the coveted will be announced on November 30. The shortlisted players are Sergio Aguero (Argentina/ Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Wales/ Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/ Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/ Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/ Manchester City & Wolfsburg), Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/ Paris Saint-Germain), Andres Iniesta (Spain/ Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich), Javier Mascherano (Argentina/Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Thomas Mueller (Germany/Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich), Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona), Paul Pogba (France/Juventus), Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands/Bayern Munich), James Rodriguez (Colombia/Real Madrid), Alexix Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona), Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast/Manchester City) and Arturo Vidal (Chile/ Juventus & Bayern Munich).