Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or now more than ever - Mendes
Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d'Or this year more than ever before, his agent, Jorge Mendes, claims.
The Manchester United star is among the top candidates to claim the award for his performances in 2021, but has the likes of Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to contend with.
Ronaldo is looking to claim the accolade for the sixth time in his career and Mendes feels he has done more than enough to win it despite ending last season with just one trophy - the Coppa Italia - to his name.
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What has been said?
Mendes told France Football : "The figures and statistics linked to the name of Cristiano Ronaldo speak for him and should be enough in my opinion for him to win another Ballon d'Or. The absolutely remarkable total of 115 goals for the Portuguese national team makes him the record holder in the history of men's international football. This year he broke this 15-year-old record, to which he can add that to being the top scorer in the history of professional football.
"All these achievements, which represent the greatest performance in football history, should be decisive in the awarding of the trophy, as he continues to demonstrate that he is, without a doubt, the best football player in the world of all time."
He added: "It is true that it is an individual trophy, but let's not forget that Cristiano Ronaldo was the top scorer in the demanding Serie A and he was also the top scorer in the last European Championship.
"He holds the record for goals in the Champions League and he is the only player in the world to have won everything in three different countries with the maximum competitiveness, as was the case in England, Italy and Spain.
"All this at the age of 36, with absolutely unique consistency, commitment and a phenomenal ability to overcome difficulties. In my opinion, this year the Ballon d'Or has a name: Cristiano Ronaldo. For me, he has never deserved it so much."
How has Ronaldo performed this year?
Ronaldo has been crucial for club and country this year.
Despite Juventus' struggles in Serie A last season, the 36-year-old ended the campaign with 29 goals, putting him five clear of next top scorer Romelu Lukaku.
Meanwhile, he broke the record to become the highest-scoring player in international football this year and has now struck 115 times for Portugal.
This week, he became the first player to have scored 10 hat-tricks at international level as he guided Portugal to a 5-0 win against Luxembourg.
Since his return to Manchester United, Ronaldo has scored five times in six matches across the Premier League and Champions League.
Who else could win the Ballon d'Or?
Lewandowski has been touted as one of the favourites to win the award due to his exploits for Bayern Munich last season.
He finished last season with 41 goals in the Bundesliga from just 29 matches, while he also netted five across six Champions League appearances.
This season, the Poland international has 11 goals from nine games in the Bundesliga and Champions League.
Chelsea star Jorginho has also been highlighted as a top contender after playing a crucial role in his side's Champions League-winning campaign, while team-mate N'Golo Kante is also in with a chance.
Despite having a disappointing season with Barcelona, Lionel Messi is in the frame, having won his first major international trophy with Argentina as they won the Copa America this summer.