Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

Former United forward Ronaldo was, last week, named in a 30-man shortlist for the coveted Ballon d’Or award along with another usual suspect and rival Lionel Messi. And Sir Alex Ferguson has backed his protégé to take the crown for the fourth time in his already glittering career.

Messi currently holds the award after winning the Golden Ball for the fifth time last year, but Sir Alex opined that there’s no one better than the “unbelievable” Ronaldo  to lift the trophy in 2016. Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca (via Daily Mail), Sir Alex said: “Cristiano’s achievements are unsurpassed, he has had a wonderful year. I cannot think of anyone better to lift the Ballon d’Or trophy. He won both the Champions League with Real Madrid and captained Portugal at Euro 2016 where, despite having to miss the end of the final through injury, he was on the sideline cheering on his teammates, such was his desire to lift the trophy. It was wonderful.”

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) poses with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the world premiere of the film Ronaldo in central London on November 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JACK TAYLOR / AFP / JACK TAYLOR (Photo credit should read JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) poses with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the world premiere of the film Ronaldo in central London on November 9, 2015.
AFP PHOTO / JACK TAYLOR / AFP / JACK TAYLOR (Photo credit should read JACK TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)

Sir Alex signed Ronaldo as an 18-year-old prodigy in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon, with the Portuguese forward going on to enjoy a fruitful six-year period at Manchester United. And the legendary Scottish manager even went on to add that he is proud of the role the Old Trafford-based club played in Ronaldo’s development as one of the world’s best players. He added: “One of the moments when I feel most proud is the thought that Manchester United played a role in his career and we wish him well.”

Ronaldo has enjoyed the most successful year of his already flourishing career having won the UEFA Champions League for the third time in his career, before adding the crowning glory of winning the European Championships with Portugal in the summer.

The likes of European Golden Shoe winner Luis Suarez, European Championship and Champions League finalist Antoine Griezmann and Neymar are among the stalwarts nominated for the Ballon d’Or this season. But it looks increasingly likely that it will be more of what football fans have grown accustomed to seeing for the last 8 years, with a Ronaldo-Messi duel deciding the eventual winner yet again.

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