Brasilia: Former Brazil international Ronaldo says Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d`Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 36-year-old, who retired from football in 2011 following a successful two-year spell at Corinthians, won the Fifa World Player of the Year trophy three times during his career.
Speaking to Fifa.com, the ex-striker concluded that he would prefer the Blaugrana star to win the award over his fellow nominee Cristiano Ronaldo.
"It’s still a battle between those two – Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo," he stated.
"Messi would get my vote because, in addition to being decisive, scoring loads of goals and winning trophies, he’s able to bring a special and different kind of magic to football.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is a very technical, very skillful and very pragmatic player, but Messi continues to produce the unexpected on a regular basis."
For the Coach of the Year award, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid man singled out Jose Mourinho as the man most deserving of the prize.
"I know the world of football well, so he’d get it for his tactical organisation, his planning and his training methods. He’s the coach I’d vote for because it’s not easy to handle 25 players so well on a daily basis," he added.
Ronaldo then concluded with his thoughts on what awards like the Ballon d`Or mean to footballers and insists there will be several candidates who have their eyes on the prize.
"Every player dreams of being recognised internationally as the best player in the world," he revealed.
"Of course only one player can win each year, but players don’t only think about it at this time of year. You think about it all the time. This is the fruit of a whole year of playing well on a regular basis, scoring goals, being important to your team and winning titles."
Ronaldo appeared 98 times for his country during his career, scoring 62 goals.
We're building him (RvP) up now because of the World Cup. It’s a pity but we have to or he’ll never be fit.
Louis van Gaal