Sir Alex Ferguson Selects His Ballon d'Or Winner For 2016

Ronaldo won the Champions League with Real Madrid last season and captained Portugal to Euro 2016 glory over the summer, prompting Ferguson - who managed the attacker at Manchester United in his formative years - to back his protege for a fourth Ballon d'Or in January.

Olhats, who was one of the first to recognise the striker's ability, has revealed that those close to the Frenchman are quietly optimistic about his chances of beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the award.

"I can not think of anyone better to take the Ballon d'Or trophy", the former Manchester United manager said.

Ronaldo spearheaded Madrid's Champions League-winning side last term and capped off a fine season by guiding Portugal to Euro 2016 glory in France. "It is not like we are good friends, but there is a mutual respect on both sides". One of the moments when I feel most proud of is the thought that Manchester United took a role in his career.

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And Ferguson, who managed Ronaldo for six years between 2003 and 2009, believes those achievements make him a worthy victor.

The 74-year-old believes Ronaldo was destined to become a great and insists he was just happy to help the forward become the player he is today.

It may be fairly unsurprising news to most of us, considering Fergie's special relationship with CR7, but the Scottish boss told Spanish newspaper Marca that Ronaldo's achievements over the past 12 months are "unsurpassed". Having had him from the age of 17 allowed me to watch his progression and understand what made him the star that he is.

Ferguson also paid tribute to Ronaldo's work ethic and attitude and praises Manchester United for playing such a large part in his development into the player he is now. This constant desire drove him along in his day-to-day work.

  • Lawrence Cooper