Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the 2016 Ballon d’Or instead of perennial rival Lionel Messi.

The star duo are locked in a personal battle to win the global game’s top individual prize on a yearly basis, with the Barcelona attacker the current holder.

However, there is a case to suggest that Ronaldo could well win the accolade back this year after having a star-studded last 12 months.

The Portuguese star helped Madrid to the Champions League crown last season and also spearheaded his nation’s triumph at Euro 2016 over the summer.

Zidane has stated that it is obvious who should win the prize this year.

“He clearly deserves the Ballon d’Or,” the Frenchman is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

“Not just at an individual level, but above all on a collective level.

“He knows everything he is achieving is thanks to his hard work and the work of those around him.”

Ronaldo netted a hat-trick as Madrid crushed Alaves 4-1 on Saturday in La Liga, lifting the capital city side to the top of the table.

However, Messi has also been in incredible form of late and has been scoring goals for fun since returning from injury.

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