Pele sends heartfelt message to Cristiano Ronaldo after fifth Ballon d'Or win
Brazil icon Pele has paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo after the Real Madrid superstar equalled rival Lionel Messi by winning his fifth Ballon d’Or.
Ronaldo, 32, was given the award by France Football magazine on Thursday after another great year for both him and Los Blancos, in which he helped them win their 33rd LaLiga title and second successive Champions League crown.
Pele, who to many is the greatest footballer ever, may now find himself in competition for that crown with both Ronaldo and Messi. But he admitted he would have loved to play in the same team as the former after the award was given to him.
Congratulations to @Cristiano on winning this year's Ballon d'Or. I would love to have played on the same side as you! // Parabéns ao @Cristiano por conquistar o Ballon d'Or este ano. Eu adoraria ter tido a chance de jogar ao seu lado! #BallondOr— Pelé (@Pele) 7 December 2017
It is now two years since Messi won the award, which is now in the hands of its creators, the magazine, rather than being recognised as FIFA’s main individual accolade, and Ronaldo has won four in five years.
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It will of course be interesting to see which one, if either of them, is crowned in 2018. That year could be decisive in the debate of who is truly the better player.