Australia legend Tim Cahill has revealed why Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or award more than Lionel Messi.
After winning three successive Champions League titles at Real Madrid, Ronaldo opted to make a bold move to Juventus last summer in search of a fresh challenge.
Despite the Serie A’s greater focus on defensive play compared to La Liga, the Portuguese forward has adapted superbly. Plaudits have also been coming his way for his remarkable progress in Italy.
In total, Ronaldo has bagged 28 goals and 13 assists in 43 appearances for Juventus across all competitions this season.
The 34-year-old also inspired Juventus to an eighth consecutive Serie A crown, which makes him a league winner in three different nations (England, Spain, and Italy).
And Ronaldo’s strong start to life in Italy saw him being crown the Serie A Player of the Year last weekend.
Despite all of this, however, Messi is understood to be the favourite for the Ballon d’Or after winning his 10th La Liga title for Barcelona.
The Argentine star has undisputedly been La Liga’s best player. But even he couldn’t do anything to save Barcelona from their humiliating Champions League semi-final defeat to Liverpool this month.
As things stand, Ronaldo and Messi are tied on a record five Ballon d’Ors apiece – which means 2019 could be the tiebreaker.
And Cahill reckons Ronaldo should get the nod over Messi due to the professionalism he’s displayed at Juventus.
“The reason why I say Ronaldo, I know people won’t agree, is because of what he’s done in Juventus,” Cahill told Alkass Sport.
“He left Real Madrid, went there and had such a massive impact on another league. I’ve never seen another player do it at Man United, Madrid for so many years.
“And I know he didn’t win the Champions League but he has such an impact in any club. If you can take players and put them somewhere at his age…
“I know people won’t agree, I just appreciate his professionalism.”
Medhi Benatia, who left Juventus for Qatari club Al-Duhail SC in January, also agreed with Cahill’s comments on his old team-mate Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo? He deserves to win the Ballon d’Or according to me,” Benatia told Calciomercato.
“Messi? He had an incredible season. He would deserve it too but with Liverpool beating Barcelona, I think this reduced his chances.”
— قنوات الكاس (@alkasschannel) May 22, 2019