Ronaldo: I think Messi will win Ballon d'Or

The retired striker has backed the Argentina international, despite the fact he is currently the bookies' third-favourite to take home the trophy in January
Brazil legend Ronaldo has backed Barcelona forward Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d'Or for a fifth straight year.

The Argentine has slipped to third-favourite to win the Fifa accolade with the bookies, behind Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery.

But the former Camp Nou and Santiago Bernabeu striker suggested Messi can take home the award once again and tipped him to come back strong from his current injury, which has seen him sidelined for the remainder of 2013.

"I think Messi will win the Ballon d'Or again," Ronaldo is quoted as saying by Marca.

"Messi has spent the last five years playing so many matches and he is the biggest star in world football. Now, this injury isn't serious, but maybe resting will allow him to recharge his batteries."

Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or twice in his career - for his performances in 1997 and in 2002.