REAL Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes Cristiano Ronaldo is a shoe-in for this year’s Ballon d’Or after he notched his third hat-trick in four Primera Division games.
The Portuguese star took his tally to 15 goals already this season as Los Blancos thumped Athletic Club 5-0 on Sunday to clinch their sixth win in a row in all competitions.
Last year Ronaldo finally broke Lionel Messi’s monopoly on the top individual prize in world football and Ancelotti believes he is a certainty to do so again after he scored for a seventh consecutive match.
“There’s little doubt this year, I think (regarding the Ballon d’Or). I don’t think there are any bets because I don’t think there’s any doubt this year,” Ancelotti told the club’s website, realmadrid.com.
By grabbing the hat-trick Ronaldo, who left Manchester United to move to the Bernabeu for £80 million in 2009, also equalled Alfredo Di Stefano and Telmo Zarra’s joint record of scoring three or more goals in 22 Primera Division matches.
But with defences collapsing and records tumbling at his feet the 29-year-old was still keen to praise his team-mates - especially Karim Benzema, who got the other two goals in Sunday’s win.
“We’re still getting better. It’s the start of the season, we have room to improve and we are growing. It was a very good game, we scored five goals and didn’t concede any,” Ronaldo said.
“Benzema is the best striker in La Liga for me and one of the best in the world. He deserves it and we’re very happy with him. He is a team player and Benzema and Chicharito are doing a great job. We’re very happy with them”.
Expectations were high in the Spanish capital this summer after Los Blancos clinched La Decima last year, but two defeats in their first three games dampened those hopes.
But since then Ancelotti’s men have moved up a gear and are now very much the form side in La Liga as they climb to fourth place.
There is a danger that the international break could disrupt their rhythm, but the former Chelsea boss says he just wants his players avoiding injuries over the next fortnight.
“I’m not worried about that. The most important thing is to avoid injuries and problems,” Ancelotti added.
“When La Liga starts we have a very important spell again with Levante, Liverpool and Barcelona. If we are lucky, we hope to come back to La Liga as we played today.”