X

Jorge Mendes Says Cristiano Ronaldo Would Have Won Ballon d'Or at Real Madrid

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - DECEMBER 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus FC reacts during the Serie A match between Juventus and Udinese Calcio at Allianz Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, has said his client would have won a sixth Ballon d'Or had he stayed at Real Madrid but suggested he could retire at Juventus

Ronaldo moved to Juve in 2018, and that year's Ballon d'Or was subsequently won by former Madrid team-mate Luka Modric, while Barcelona's Lionel Messi claimed the 2019 award earlier in December, moving him one clear of Ronaldo's five.

Mendes said:

"Cristiano deserved to win the Ballon d'Or at least once in the last two years. If he had played at Real Madrid, he would have won it, but next year I think he can win it again.

"For me it is an injustice [that Cristiano hasn't won the Ballon d'Or]. He won the Nations League and he is a champion.

"But he knows what he should do, and then we will see what happens in 2020."

The agent added that Ronaldo "is the best player in the history of world football."

After Messi's victory on December 2, ABC (h/t Sky Sports) reported Ronaldo expressed a similar belief to his team-mates that both the 2018 and 2019 awards would have gone his way had he not swapped Madrid for Turin.

Ronaldo finished third in the voting this year:

B/R Football @brfootball

The 2019 #BallondOr 🌟 https://t.co/PqMuj1nNpx

It's not a position he is accustomed to finishing in:

B/R Football @brfootball

This year was the first time Ronaldo finished outside the Ballon d'Or top two since 2010 😳 https://t.co/PHjPSzrRtS

The 34-year-old won Serie A with Juventus last season and then the UEFA Nations League with Portugal.

As of December 2, he had notched 34 goals for club and country in 2019, as well as five assists.

His form for Juventus has come in fits and starts this year, though, whereas Messi has been consistently strong throughout. While the Ballon d'Or isn't just about numbers, the Argentinian had produced 46 goals and 18 assists for club and country this year on the day he was given the award.

Ronaldo perhaps wouldn't have been a deserved winner last year, either:

Ben Hayward @bghayward

@ReubenObodai @000Gguts Was Ronaldo robbed last year? He won the Champions League, but did little in semis or final, and came third in La Liga in which he was poor for half the season. This idea a player deserves Ballon d’Or because of winning CL is highly flawed...

After a poor start to this season for Maurizio Sarri's Juve, his domestic form has improved in recent weeks so he looks set to end 2019 on a high:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Five goals in his last four games. Cristiano Ronaldo 💥 @brfootball https://t.co/dnNZSNldJN

Ronaldo's deal with the Bianconeri runs until 2022. Asked if he might see out his career in Turin, Mendes told Calciomercato.com (h/t Football Italia): "Yes, he could do that. He has signed a contract. He is happy at Juventus, working under a great coach."

The Portuguese forward will be 37 by the time that contract expires.

He's still capable of making an impact at the top level, but because of his advancing years and the decline that comes with it, his chances of equalling Messi on six Ballons d'Or likely hinge on delivering the UEFA Champions League next year or UEFA Euro 2020.