– The race for the Ballon d’Or is on – and it could be one of the closest in years.
– Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, Jorginho and Robert Lewandowski are some of the names in the frame.
– But Cristiano Ronaldo is making a case of his own.
– The Portuguese legend scored a scarcely believable 58th career hat-trick this week, and this year he has broken other records besides as he seeks his sixth crown.
– That triple – and its timing – might just swing the vote Ronaldo’s way, as it did in 2013 when the then-Real Madrid forward got a hat-trick against Sweden to help him narrowly see off Messi and Franck Ribery in the voting.
– “I always promised that I would want more and more,” Ronaldo said after his Portugal side’s World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg.
– “It’s inside me, in my DNA.
– “We must never be satisfied, never slack off, and always try and reach the highest we can.”
– His next task is to walk away with the award on November 29, and it’s one that will find a home alongside seven LaLiga Santander titles, five Champions Leagues, one European Championship, one Nations League, five Ballon d’Or awards, four Golden Boots and two FIFA The Best crowns.
– “Cristiano deserves it,” said Sir Alex Ferguson recently.
– “This year he’s broken record after record.”