Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has backed Real Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo to lift this year's Ballon d'or award, saying that the Portuguese truly deserves to win the coveted prize regardless of results.
"Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, without a doubt. Even if he hasn't scored these last few games, we shouldn't forget all he's done this year," the former Real Madrid defender was quoted as saying by goal.com.
Reiterating Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti's words, the 43-year-old said the presence of Ronaldo in the team is like starting a match with a 1-0 edge.
"Carlo Ancelotti used to say that with Cristiano [Ronaldo], it is like starting a match with a 1-0 edge," he said.
Ronaldo is a front runner to win the Ballon d'Or award after inspiring Zinedine Zidane's side to the Champions League glory and Portugal to Euro 2016 trophy.
Ronaldo, who won the prestigious gong in 2008, 2013 and 2014, scored a total of 51 goals in all competitions for Madrid last season.
The prestigious individual prize will be judged solely by a panel of journalists after FIFA World Player of the Year award and Ballon d'Or ended their partnership this year.