Brazil legend Ronaldo: Messi will beat Cristiano to the Ballon d'Or

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo has tipped Barcelona forward Lionel Messi to win the 2012 Ballon d’Or ahead of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine has won the last three editions of the award, but his Portuguese counterpart has helped los Blancos to the Liga title and led his country to the European Championship semi-finals this year.

“Messi and Cristiano are amazing, the two best players in the world, but Messi does more to entertain fans,” he told Marca.

The two-time World Cup winner also believes Santos striker Neymar must transfer to a big European club in order to fulfill his potential, both a player and a person.

“I would advise Neymar to go to Europe. As well as being the home of football, the culture there make it a great opportunity and an option that should not be missed.

“In Europe, players become real people, especially Brazilians. I learned a lot, it was great to live in Europe for 18 years and I can say that there is no university to teach you everything I learned playing football there.”

The 36-year-old is currently on the board of directors for the Organising Committee for 2014 World Cup in his homeland, and he admitted it is a prospect that makes him wish he was still playing.

“I’d love to be a few years younger and return to play at the Maracana. Brazilian football will inherit a legacy from the World Cup. New stadiums, new football prospects. Everything will have changed because of 2014.”

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