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The Argentina legend raises eyebrows by offering his backing to the in-form Real Madrid star and not his high-profile compatriot, Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi

Diego Maradona says that Cristiano Ronaldo should win the Ballon d'Or and not Lionel Messi.

The Real Madrid and Barcelona stars have been named alongside Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery on a three-man shortlist for the prize, which will be awardd on January 13 in Zurich.

A recent poll of Goal readers saw Ronaldo favoured to win the trophy and Maradona has now weighed in with his thoughts on the race to be crowned the world's best player.

The 53-year-old told Le Buteur: "Cristiano Ronaldo should win. Messi has been injured a lot this year."

Messi is the current holder of the Ballon d'Or and a four-time winner overall but Ronaldo's incredible form since the start of the campaign has seen him emerge has the favourite to lift the award for a second time.

The Madrid forward has scored 17 goals in 15 Primera Division games already this season, while his Barca rival has been hampered by a hamstring problem that he first picked up in the latter stages of last term.

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