<
>

Cristiano Ronaldo tipped to win fifth Ballon d'Or by Real Madrid president

play
Moreno: Real's struggles go beyond Ronaldo (0:55)

As Cristiano Ronaldo continues to struggle, Alejandro Moreno pinpoints the other areas of concern for Real Madrid. (0:55)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to win a fifth Ballon d'Or when the award is announced on Thursday.

Ronaldo has had an inconsistent start to the 2017-18 season, but his decisive burst of goals as Madrid won the Champions League and La Liga title last term helped him clinch the 2017 Best FIFA Men's Player award, and he is widely expected to add another Ballon d'Or to his collection when L'Equipe makes its decision public this week.

Speaking as he presented insignias to long-serving Madrid socios -- club members -- on Sunday, Perez pointed to the history that Ronaldo, 32, had made at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"I'd also like to mention our player, Cristiano Ronaldo," Perez said. "He is another of our biggest icons, successor to the great Alfredo Di Stefano. Cristiano is the leading goal scorer in the club's history.

"He's just picked up his second FIFA The Best Award in a row, and I'm sure that next week, he'll get his hands on his fifth Ballon d'Or."

A fifth Ballon d'Or for Ronaldo would draw him level with Barcelona's Lionel Messi in having won the award the most times.

The Madrid ceremony came the day after Real had drawn 0-0 at Athletic Bilbao to remain eight points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race.

Ronaldo had another personally frustrating night at San Mames, and has just two La Liga goals so far this season -- his fewest in the league since 2005-06 with Manchester United -- although things are different in the Champions League where he is the competition's top scorer with eight strikes from five games.

Zinedine Zidane's side have just 28 points from their first 14 La Liga games -- the worst record since 2008-09, when then-coach Bernd Schuster was fired at this stage of the season.

However, Perez preferred to focus on the positives and called Zidane a "wonderful coach" who had proven his worth through past successes.

"We've got a team to keep on dreaming, with a wonderful coach in Zinedine Zidane, who has already won everything there is to win at Real Madrid, his lifelong club," he said.

"He's one of our great symbols, a great icon who encompasses the values and talent one needs to be the leader of one of the greatest squads ever assembled, captained by Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, another two examples of our values."

The night before, Ramos had been sent off for a record 24th time in a Madrid jersey -- with his 19th La Liga red card also setting a new all-time mark.