Ronaldo to be named Ballon d'Or winner

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Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo will be named European Footballer of the Year next Tuesday, according to The Sun.

The 23-year-old winger was pictured with the Ballon d'Or trophy yesterday.

France Football magazine, who run the award, sent their photographers to Manchester to get the shot in preparation for next week’s announcement.

Ronaldo will become the first United player to win the prize since George Best 40 years ago.

Even his closest contender for the title Lionel Messi backs Ronaldo to claim European football's most prestigious individual award.

The run up to December's announcement of Ballon d’Or winner has been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo, and Barcelona star Messi concedes that the Portuguese has the edge on him.

Messi said: "He won the Champions League, the Premier League as well, so I think he will be awarded the prize."

Ronaldo has claimed a lot of individual awards already this year as he has won the FIFPro World Player of the Year honour, along with the English Football Writers Award and the Premier League Players' Player of the Year.

The former Sporting Lisbon man has also been named the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and has won the Golden Boot for his return of 42 goals last season.

Combined with those accolades, the 23-year-old helped the Red Devils to the Premier League title and the Champions League to cap a truly remarkable year.

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