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Thursday 14 December 2017

Barca chief: 'Ronaldo not even in top 10'

BARCELONA president Sandro Rosell has scoffed at Cristiano Ronaldo's claim to be crowned World Player of the Year by claiming the Real Madrid forward is not even in the world's top 10 players.

Ronaldo claimed a fortnight ago that he deserved the award after guiding Real Madrid past Barca to the Spanish title this season and his case was further strengthened by a match-winnning performance as Portugal qualified for the quarter-finals of the European Championship with a 2-1 win over Holland.

However, speaking at a round table evening in honour of the Quimica de Sarria institute in the Catalan capital, Rosell insisted that there should be no doubt over whether Lionel Messi will pick up his fourth consecutive Balon d'Or at the end of the year.

Rossell said: "Cristiano Ronaldo isn't the second best player in the world, he is the 12th. The first 11 are Barca players. Outside of Spain everyone is clear that Messi ought to win the Balon d'Or but not here."

The former Nike executive also had a dig at Ronaldo's club coach Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager and Barca's Tito Vilanova will both now be able to take charge of their respective sides for the Spanish Super Cup clash at the start of the season after touchline bans resulting from an altercation between the two, in which Mourinho poked Vilanova in the eye, were waived by Spanish FA President Jose Maria Villar.

"I would not accept a manager who wants to win at any cost," said Rosell.

"I would ask for forgiveness if the manager of this club put their finger in anyone's eye."

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has extended his contract with the Catalan club until 2014.

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