Cristiano Ronaldo deserves the Ballon d'Or, says Santamaria

The former Spain coach has nothing but praise for the Portuguese attacker, and feels that Madrid's defence will be key in the second leg of their CL semi-final against Bayern
By Alberto Pinero

Former Real Madrid defender Jose Santamaria believes that Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Fifa Ballon d'Or following his impressive form in the 2011-12 campaign.

The Portugal international has already netted 42 goals in 34 La Liga appearances this term, while adding 12 more in other competitions, and Santamaria feels that the 27-year-old should be rewarded for his excellent performances.

"At the moment it seems as if he's capable of breaking any record he wants to break. He can single-handedly decide games and I think that he deserves to win the Ballon D'Or," the former Spain boss stated to

"I would like to see him win it, but there are other players who have made their mark as well, though. It all depends on which criteria are used. It's hard to say whether he will win."

Santamaria, 82, then went on to discuss Madrid's chances in the semi-final of the Champions League against Bayern Munich.

The Bundesliga side defend a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Wednesday's return at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Santamaria admitted that Madrid's rearguard will be key to the tie.

"The defence will play a key role. They can't afford to concede. If the back line manages to keep a clean sheet, things will be much easier. One goal can be enough for Madrid. They have a fantastic team, but it won't be easy.

"Madrid should always try to score goals. Two goals are better than one, and three is better than two. But we also have to realise that it's crucial to keep a clean sheet. Madrid have the quality to score at least once."

Wednesday's encounter kicks off at 20.45CET. will be running a dedicated LIVE! on Tuesday from 15.00-00.00BST to keep you up to date with all the latest news, views and analysis on the second leg of the Champions League semi-final tie between Barcelona and Chelsea, while also offering you the chance to ask our Football Editors any questions you have on the contest.