Zidane: Ronaldo should be ‘clear’ Ballon d’Or winner

Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo should “clearly” be voted as the world’s best player, despite his struggles this season.

Ronaldo is one of the favourites on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or award, along with Barcelona rival and last year’s winner Lionel Messi.

The 31-year-old’s form has been somewhat faltering over recent weeks after recovering from the injury suffered in the final of the European Championships.

But after Ronaldo helped Portugal secure their first major tournament triumph, his Real Madrid manager Zidane says there shouldn’t be any question over the forward being crowned as the Ballon d’Or winner.

“He clearly deserves the Ballon d’Or,” said Zidane.

“Not just at an individual level, but above all on a collective level.

“He knows everything he is achieving is thanks to his hard work and the work of those around him.”

Ronaldo has averaged more than a goal per game during his seven years at Madrid, but he has just four in nine this season – failing to find the net against Atletico Bilbao last weekend despite 11 shots.

“He is angry about not scoring, but there is no bigger worry than that,” added Zidane.

“Every time he doesn’t score there is a furore, but he has to live with these things.”