Cristiano Ronaldo has named the five players who pose the biggest threat to him winning this year’s Ballon d’Or.
The Juventus star however did leave out a huge name from his list: Lionel Messi.
The 33-year-old is hoping to secure the accolade for a sixth time – more than any other player in the award’s history – and he says he deserves it.
“I said many times, winning a sixth Ballon d’Or is not an obsession,” he told France Football .
“And I do not ask the question in these terms. I already know, in my heart of hearts, that I am one of the best players in history.
“Of course I want to win, this sixth Ballon d’Or. It would be a lie to tell you the opposite.
“I work for that. As I work to score goals and win games without being an obsession.
“I think I deserve it.”
When asked who will rival him to the award, he added: “The same as usual, even if I don’t know if Messi will be on the podium this time.
“So, let’s say Salah, Modric, Griezmann, Varane, Mbappe – the French in general because they are world champions.
“But I will wait and see if all these players are still at the top in 10 years, like Messi and I have done, and like we continue to do.
“Still there, on the podium, since more than 10 years.”