I'd vote for myself to win the Ballon d'Or if I was allowed, declares Ronaldo
17:23 GMT, 5 November 2012
Cristiano Ronaldo has lived up to his reputation of self-absorption by declaring if he could vote for himself to win the Ballon d'Or, he would.
The Real Madrid superstar is second favourite behind Barcelona rival Lionel Messi to pick up the prestigious FIFA award which crowns one player the world's best, on January 7.
'If I could, I'd vote for myself,' he told France Football.
Self-absorbed Cristiano Ronaldo says he would vote for himself
'I am what I am and I'm happy with that. Being too humble isn't good. In Portugal we say that too much humility is vanity.'
'I play for the passion of football,
and for the love of the teams I represent. If I was playing for money,
I'd be at another club,' he said.
'All players love it when teams like
Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United or Chelsea dream about them, but
that's not in my thoughts.'
European Golden boot: Lionel Messi (left) already beat Ronaldo to one award
Support: Jose Mourinho is proud of his talented attacker
On November 2 Messi said he would not be voting for Ronaldo to win the award.
'Last year, I voted for Xavi, Iniesta and Aguero, in that order,' he told Catalan daily Sport.
'I reckon this year it will be the same. I have not thought about it yet, but it will be more or less the same.'
WHO CAN VOTE
Managers of international sidesCaptains of international sidesJournalists selected by France Football
Messi added: 'Xavi and Iniesta will be there for sure and I am thinking between [Gonzalo] Higuain, [Angel] Di Maria or Aguero.'
Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has offered his support to Ronaldo by backing the player to the hilt.
'If Messi is the best on the planet, Ronaldo is the best in the universe,' the enigmatic coach declared.
The Argentine maestro has already pipped Ronaldo to one award – picking up the European Golden Shoe for the 2011-12 campaign.
He hit an astonishing 63 goals, beating the competition's previous record of 47 from Dudu Georgescu in 1976-77.
Ronaldo trailed Messi with a none-the-less remarkable 57 goals.
Not quite enough: Ronaldo scored an amazing number of goals – but Messi got more
A 23-man shortlist for the award was constructed by the FIFA Football Committee and experts from France Football.
The three finalists names will be announced on November 29 before the eventual winner is decided in Zurich.
Former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Brazil striker Ronaldo believes Messi deserves the award.
He told the FIFA website: 'Messi would get my vote because, in addition to being decisive – scoring loads of goals and winning trophies – he’s able to bring a special and different kind of magic to football.
'Cristiano Ronaldo is a very technical, very skilful and very pragmatic player, but Messi continues to produce the unexpected on a regular basis.'
Decision: Ronaldo would side with Messi rather than his namesake
Close: Ronaldo said Madrid's man was brilliant… but not quite as brilliant as Messi
River Plate captain and former France international David Trezeguet found it difficult to separate the two players.
He said: 'There’s no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi continue to be a class apart.
'Nowadays, when you watch Real Madrid or Barcelona, there are definitely other players with the potential to mix things up a little, but right now those two are still very different to everyone else.'
Trezeguet continued: 'They’re different kinds of players, both physically and in terms of their individual characteristics.
'Cristiano is a more physical and athletic type of player. Messi, on the other hand, is physically very good too but technically he’s got a very South American – and not at all European – flavour to his game.
'They’re both players of the highest level and I think they share the same ambition: to outdo the other.'
BALLON D'OR SHORTLIST
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Mario Balotelli (Manchester City)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea & Shanghai Shenhua)
Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan & Paris St Germain)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
Robin van Persie (Arsenal & Manchester United)
Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)