Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or Award this year.
Xavi and Ronaldo have not shared the most friendliest of relationships, and the fact that they have represented two arch-rival teams – in Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively – has certainly not helped.
Moreover, as if that wasn’t enough, these two star footballers seem to have exchanged stingy comments about each other lately.
In a recent interview with Cadena SER, Xavi went on to compare Ronaldo with his former teammate Lionel Messi.
The 36-year-old said: “Ronaldo is a player of his time, but the problem is that there is another player who has been pretty much the best player in history. Ronaldo is extraordinary but compared to Messi, for me and for everyone who likes football, there can be no comparisons.”
The Portuguese captain replied to the midfielder’s comments by saying: “I couldn’t care less about what Xavi says about me, he plays in Qatar or I don’t even know where. He’s won every collective trophy, including a World Cup and the European Championship, but he’s never won a Ballon d’Or.”
But now, instead of trying to get one over the Real Madrid superstar, Xavi seems to have extended an olive branch by backing Cristiano to win this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Speaking during an interview at the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition in Amsterdam, Xavi stated: “Cristiano has the numbers to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, having won the Champions League and the Euros [with Real Madrid and Portugal].”
However, the Al-Sadd midfielder remained loyal to his friend and former teammate Leo Messi, by further adding: “But I also think that it’ll be very competitive, because Messi will be there, of course.”