The 42-year-old coach thinks that his compatriot has done enough this season to deserve the prestigious award and insists the forward's Euro 2012 form will not change anythingPaulo Bento is of the opinion that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is the front-runner in the race for the Ballon d'Or award.
The 27-year-old forward enjoyed a dream season with Madrid, scoring 60 goals in all competitions, including 46 in La Liga, as he led Los Blancos to their first league title since 2008.
Bento believes that Ronaldo's club form in 2011-12 alone is enough for the player to clinch the prestigious award, which has bee claimed by Barcelona's Lionel Messi in each of the last three years.
"About the Ballon d'Or, I do not think that what he will do at Euro 2012 will have any influence," he told reporters at a press conference.
"He has done already what he had to do, from my point of view. What I mean by this is the season he had, the stats he posted and the fact that he won La Liga.
"As such, I think he will be able to reach that goal [winning the Ballon d'Or]."
The Selecao coach then disputed the notion that the possibility of winning the accolade is an extra source of motivation for Ronaldo going into Euro 2012.
"I do not think that could be a motivation," Bento added. "In my opinion, that would be one more pressure, and we do not want that on our team.
"What he needs is to want to be well, to want to help the national team and to continue to play at a high level, but not because of that award."
Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!