Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister, has backed Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo to pick up the Ballon d’Or award in January.
Speaking in an interview on public radio, Rajoy said the 28-year-old Portuguese star deserved recognition for his outstanding year for club and country. So far in 2013, the Portugal international has scored 66 goals for club and country – he latest being a hat trick against Sweden to confirm his side’s participation in the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
Although a Real Madrid fan, Rajoy also had words of praise for the other two main contenders for the award – Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery.
Rajoy, who is not normally fond of making public appearances in his home country, said: “I am a Real Madrid fan, I have always been a Madrid fan. If I had to vote I would vote for Ronaldo. He scored three goals in Sweden. And I think he is in impressive form. He is a player who gives everything, who makes an all-out effort. Yes, I would vote for him.”
Although Ronaldo is the obvious stand out due to his goalscoring achievements, Rajoy also had some kind words for the other two main candidates. Obviously Messi also had a great season. And Ribery won everything, right? Because they won the Champions League, and the European Super Cup and the German league,” he stated.
Rajoy is known to be an avid football fan, and often hides away in Moncloa watching his beloved Real Madrid. While trying to deal with his country’s debt crisis last year he famously took time out to travel to Poland to watch Spain play in Euro 2012, just a day after the country’s banks had been bailed out. That move drew much criticism from many Spaniards who have been made to endure huge swathes of job losses, pay cuts, tax hikes and cuts in public spending as the Government tries to get the nation back on track.