Sunday, March 02, 2014
Platini: Messi and Ronaldo could win Ballon d’Or for 10 years
Uefa president Michel Platini says Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could win the Ballon d’Or for the next 10 years, but backed Neymar to eventually dethrone his Barcelona team-mate at Camp Nou.
The Frenchman believes that the current criteria for the award will mean that the Portuguese and Argentine will be the main contenders for the next 10 years.
In January, Platini voiced his discontent at Franck Ribery's failure to win the award after a treble-winning season at Bayern Munich, with the France international finishing in third place.
“Under the current criteria, we're heading for Messi, Cristiano, Messi, Cristiano... for 10 years,” said Platini, speaking to Le Journal du Dimanche.
He added: “Cristiano, Messi and Ribery would have made three magnificent Ballon d’Or winners. But Ribery won everything, so I would have voted for him. And not because he is French. I could vote for [Arjen] Robben or [Bastian] Schweinsteiger. Neymar still has time to dethrone Messi, even at Barcelona.”
The 58-year-old also cast doubts over Bayern's chances of winning a second successive Champions League title this season and was reluctant to comment on in-form PSG's prospectsin the competition.
Platini said: “The same thing happened three years ago with Barcelona, but no team has won the Champions League twice in a row.
"Nowadays, with Bayern, Barcelona… we’re in a [period of] football that’s technically total and globalised: Bayern are coached by a Spaniard, and [teams like] Chelsea or Arsenal don’t play in an English style anymore.
“Everyone thinks that PSG can win it. If I say they can’t, people will kill me. And if I say they can, people will accuse me of being pro-Qatar.”