Gullit: Real Madrid star Ronaldo deserves Ballon d'Or ahead of Barcelona's Messi

Dutch legend Ruud Gullit says Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo deserves the Ballon d'Or ahead of Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

The former Chelsea and AC Milan star is one of the presenters at the Ballon d’Or in Zurich on January 7.

Gullit said: “Ronaldo deserves to get the trophy of World’s Best Player.

“He deserves it more than Messi and he does not deserve to be ­humiliated by FIFA and the organisers in the room where he keeps having to turn up and watch live how Messi scoops the award in front of him.

“At the last UEFA Awards, for the ­European Player of the Year trophy, Ronaldo missed out on the big trophy. But he did turn up and he did sit on the front row.

“I respect Cristiano so much for doing that. But I can imagine that he is going to tell everyone he is not going to turn up any more if it all goes wrong for him again."

Gullit, twice voted the world’s best player, went on: ­“Cristiano deserves the confirmation that he is an incredibly good player. They can do that by handing him the Ballon d’Or. And for me he really is the best player of 2012. I ­really want the biggest ­individual award in world football to go to him.

“He is an absolute phenomenon who has every quality a world-class player needs.

“He is big and strong, an extremely good header of the ball, he can dribble, he has pace, a ­deadly free-kick and ­penalty. And he can shoot at goal from all kind of angles. On top of that he is tactically very aware.

“Together with Messi he is in a special category. Of course, Messi broke Gerd Muller’s famous record of 85 goals in a year last week.

“That record is probably going to be the icing on the cake at the voting. But in my eyes Ronaldo is just as good.

“Cristiano always ends up second. And yet he deserves to come first just as much as Messi.

“They should just invite the winner and save the number two the humiliation.’’

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