Real Madrid defender Pepe has declared teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is the only rightful winner of the Ballon d'Or.

Ronaldo has been shortlisted on the gong, along with Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery.

"The criteria for this award are for individual performance and he's had an incredible year. It's an individual award. In 2010, Spain won the World Cup, but the award did not go to a Spaniard. There are several examples like this", Pepe said.

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