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James Rodriguez: Ronaldo deserves to win

Former Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez says Cristiano Ronaldo is a “fantastic player” and deserves to win his fifth Ballon d’Or

The Portuguese superstar is expected to win the award for the best player on the planet in 2017, as France Football will announce the winner on Thursday, and that recognition would come as no surprise to many.

If Ronaldo wins the most prestigious individual award, he will draw level with his rival Lionel Messi, as the duo continues to dominate the world of football for a decade now. The 32-year-old has also won the FIFA Best Men Player award back in October, but his eyes are already on his next prize.

In the meantime, James Rodriguez, who spent 3 seasons playing with Ronaldo at Real Madrid before moving to Bayern Munich, believes that there is no player who deserves the Ballon d’Or more, than the Portuguese, for what he has done in the past year.

“It’s deserved. Cristiano has had a great year and I’m happy for him. It’ll be his fifth Ballon d’Or, and right now that says it all. He has improved over his whole career, which has turned him into a fantastic player,” he told reporters.

The 26-year-old playmaker moved to Bayern Munich on an initial two-year loan agreement, after not finding his place in Real’s squad. Some say Ronaldo’s presence was one of the reasons why Rodriguez didn’t fit into the starting XI of Los Blancos.

One thing’s for sure though: he also had a slow start to life in Germany, but now it seems like he is starting to find his place on the pitch.

“Yes, I’m playing well at the moment, which is down to getting more minutes on the pitch,” Rodriguez said after their 3-1 Champions League victory. Many say the Columbian was maybe suggesting he wasn’t playing enough back in Madrid.