Brazil legend Roberto Carlos feels the dedication, hard work and professionalism shown by Cristiano Ronaldo should put the Portuguese ahead of Lionel Messi and Neymar in what has become world football’s unending debate.
Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d’Or earlier this month to draw level with Messi in winning world football’s ultimate individual award, having helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and La Liga last season.
“These days, when you talk about football, you talk about Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo,” Carlos who spent 11 years at Real Madrid told
“Cristiano has worked to improve. When you talk about the Ballon d’Or or any other prize, it’s not just any person who votes, it’s people who know football, who follow the stats of the players and pick the best in the world.
“I watch him train every day and the way he works is exciting. He wants to improve every day.
“That’s the difference with Messi. Leo is a phenomenon, we never talk about Neymar… but that side of Cristiano, of training, professionalism, focus, motivation, success… Cristiano has an advantage over all the others.”
Fellow Brazilian Vinicius Junior is still on loan at Flamengo following his multi-million transfer to Madrid, and Carlos is excited about his potential.
“I’m not going to say that he’s ready because he’s still very young, but what Real Madrid have done, thinking about the future of the club, I think is perfect both for Real Madrid and Flamengo,” he said.
“He’s coming to Europe to learn, to accelerate the learning process as a player and as a man.
“He knows playing for Real Madrid won’t be easy because the Bernabeu is very big, the fans demand a lot. To be a Real Madrid player should make him very proud and very motivated.
“He has an even bigger responsibility today to improve day by day. I wish him a lot of luck because, I’m certain, he’s going to become an idol within this club.”