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Raul backs under-fire Ronaldo for Ballon d'Or glory

Raul backs under-fire Ronaldo for Ballon d'Or glory

The Real Madrid icon backed the Portuguese to be crowned the world's best player over Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann following his Champions League and Euro 2016 successes
Real Madrid legend Raul has defended Cristiano Ronaldo after his underwhelming start to the season and believes the star will reclaim the Ballon d'Or this season.

Ronaldo has averaged more than a goal per game since joining Madrid from Manchester United in 2009 to become their top scorer but has netted just four goals in nine appearances in all competitions this term.

The 31-year-old cut a frustrated figure in his side's 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend as scrutiny mounted on his slump in front of goal.

But Raul sees no reason for panic just yet, while he thinks it will the Portuguese's year to lift the Ballon d'Or after his Champions League and Euro 2016 glory.

"I think Cristiano will win the Ballon d'Or," Raul told Cadena Ser. "I think it will be between Cristiano, [Lionel] Messi and [Antoine] Griezmann. They would make up a nice podium.
"The Champions League and Euro 2016 are hugely important and that is why I think it is Cristiano's year.
"He has a great personality and is very hungry for success. He is more critical of his own performances than anyone else. He always wants what is best for the team and is very demanding.
"All his team-mates like him and respect him. I know because I had the opportunity to play alongside him."



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