Massimiliano Allegri says Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, despite talk the Juventus star has not made the three-man shortlist.
The five-time winner has claimed the award in each of the past two years, with Ronaldo boosting his 2018 bid by firing Real Madrid to Champions League glory before making a strong start to life at Juve. He also scored a hat-trick for Portugal at the World Cup.
But a report by Tuttosport suggests Ronaldo is not in the running for a third straight Ballon d'Or, with Raphael Varane, Luka Modric and Kylian Mbappe rumoured to be the three contenders.
Bianconeri coach Allegri would not agree with that selection, however, as he believes his star forward has earned the honour once agian.
"I don't know anything about the Ballon d'Or nominations but, for all Cristiano has done, he would deserve it," Allegri told a news conference.
@OfficialAllegri "I don't know anything about the Ballon d'Or nominations, but for all @Cristiano has done he would deserve it."#JuveSPAL pic.twitter.com/y033bfNACJ — JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 23, 2018
Ronaldo is set to line up alongside Mario Mandzukic in attack against SPAL after Paulo Dybala returned late from international duty with Argentina.
"[Dybala] came back on Thursday, he had a relaxing morning and we'll see," the coach said. "He will probably start from the bench. We will likely play Mandzukic and Ronaldo.
"Football is not an exact science but it is about chemistry: Ronaldo and Mandzukic, when they are together, have an excellent understanding. Even Paulo and Ronaldo are fine, but they have played together less.
"I like them a lot even when they're all three together. The team works well in every way. It depends on the availability of the players. We are on the right track, but we must continue to play to get to know each other better."
Allegri also confirmed goalkeeper Mattia Perin will start for Juve on Saturday.