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The ex-Santiago Bernabeu forward thinks that the Portuguese winger has earned the award ahead of his Barca rivals and Franck Ribery

Former Real Madrid star Jorge Valdano believes that Cristiano Ronaldo would be a more worthy winner of the Ballon d'Or than Lionel Messi.

The Liga pair are the frontrunners for the Fifa award, alongside Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery, with many pundits currenly tipping the Portuguese winger to end the Argentine's run of four successive triumphs.

Valdano, who played and coached at the Santiago Bernabeu, is also of the opinion that his injury-hit compatriot has not done enough to win the trophy for 2013, whereas he has nothing but praise for Ronaldo's efforts this year.

"Messi could lose the Ballon d'Or as he has not been competing [at the same level] since the end of last season because he has been hit by several consecutive injuries," the 58-year-old World Cup winner told La Red.

"Ronaldo was very competitive, a perfectionist, a very ambitious man. He and Messi have a great rivalry. The two of them have reached unprecendented levels of competitivity.

"If I was to vote this season, I would vote for Ronaldo because Messi has not been as good as usual. Ribery is more down to earth than them two."

The Ballon d'Or gala, at which the winner will be announced, takes place on January 13.

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