Luis Figo Says 'Sergio Ramos Deserves to Win the Ballon d'Or'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 16: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Celta de Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 16, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Luis Figo believes Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos "deserves to win the Ballon d'Or," but he acknowledged it is more difficult for defenders to claim the auspicious award.

A Real Madrid player has claimed the gong in each of the last three years after their three consecutive UEFA Champions League wins.

Luka Modric won the award for 2018 after also guiding Croatia to the FIFA World Cup final, and Cristiano Ronaldo took the Ballon d'Or home in 2017 and 2016.

Ramos could have staked a claim to be recognised ahead of Modric or Ronaldo, as he has been a crucial figure in Real's incredible recent success.

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 03:  Luis Figo of Real Madrid in action during the Corazon Classic match between Real Madrid Legends and Arsenal Legends at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on June 3, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

And for Figo, a Ballon d'Or winner himself in 2000 during his five years at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Spaniard is due some recognition, per Marca's Nacho Labarga:

"It's clear that Sergio Ramos deserves to win the Ballon d'Or. Being a defender is almost like being a goalkeeper, it's a lot more difficult to win the award, but [Fabio] Cannavaro managed it [in 2006]. It depends on the moment, on the year, but for quality alone, it's obvious that Ramos should win it."

Modric's win broke a 10-year run in which Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi had both claimed the award five times each.

Cannavaro was honoured after captaining Italy to World Cup glory, but he is the only defensive player to win the Ballon d'Or in the last 22 years.

Ramos, 32, may yet have another chance to join his fellow centre-back as a Ballon d'Or winner if he enjoys further success with Real or Spain in the future.

But he has no chance of claiming the gong this year, as Los Blancos have endured a miserable season that has seen them go through three managers:

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: Zinedine Zidane has replaced Santiago Solari as Real Madrid manager, on a deal until 2022 https://t.co/41SbFYYp0m

After exits in the Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League, and given they are trailing Barcelona by 12 points in La Liga, the Madrid giants look set to end the season trophyless.