Florentino Perez: It'd Be Easier for Neymar to Win Ballon d'Or at Real Madrid

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2017

MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Bayern Muenchen and Paris Saint-Germain at Allianz Arena on December 5, 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has said it would be "easier" for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar to win the Ballon d'Or if he were a Los Blancos player. 

Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d'Or on Thursday, beating Lionel Messi into second place and Neymar into third.

Perez said after the ceremony in Paris it is "difficult to see" who will finally eclipse Ronaldo and Messi in winning the Ballon d'Or—the pair have shared the last 10 awards—but said Neymar would have a better chance if he plied his trade at the Santiago Bernabeu, per AS.

"Being at Madrid would make it easier for Neymar to win it," he said. "Madrid is a club that gives big players what they need. Everyone knew that I wanted to sign him."

Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona in the summer for £200 million, and it was widely theorised he opted to leave the Camp Nou in order to step out of Messi's shadow and improve his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or, per Sid Lowe in the Guardian.

The Brazil international has made a fantastic start to life at the Parc des Princes, netting 15 goals and providing nine assists in a combined 18 Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions League appearances in 2017-18.

He still finished a long way back from Ronaldo and Messi in the 2017 Ballon d'Or voting, though:

History suggests that, like Messi with Barca and Ronaldo with Real, Neymar needs to lead a side to major silverware in order to become the front-runner for the prestigious individual award.

If, for example, the 25-year-old stars in 2017-18 as PSG win Ligue 1 and the Champions League, there would be a significant chance he could break the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly on the Ballon d'Or next year. 

But Perez believes he would have a better chance of achieving individual glory at Real.

Even though Neymar only moved to PSG in the summer, there have already been reports he could switch to the Bernabeu, per Mundo Deportivo (via ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan).

He would be an ideal successor to 32-year-old Ronaldo when the Portuguese finally hangs up his boots.

Perez's latest comments are an indication he still covets Neymar, and links to Real are likely to persist indefinitely.