The 28-year-old has been in sensational form in 2013-14 so far, netting 24 times in 17 appearances for los Blancos, while four stunning goals in the World Cup playoff against Sweden saw his Portugal side claim a 4-2 aggregate win.
While he admits Ronaldo has excelled as an individual this year, Alves believes Madrid's trophyless campaign in 2012-13 puts him at a disadvantage in the Ballon d'Or race.
"Cristiano is in a very, very rich vein of form. This year, I think he's slightly ahead of the rest," the Brazilian defender was quoted as saying by AS. "He's playing very well and he's scoring goals and that increases his chances. It's true that he hasn't won any trophies, but he has been in very good form.
"My bets are Messi and Ribery. If it isn't Messi, I'd give it to Ribery simply because he has won everything and he has led Bayern Munich to success on all fronts. To be in for the Ballon d'Or I think that you have to win some sort of team silverware."