The ex-Real Madrid forward says the trio of stars have earned greater recognition from Fifa, while insisting Juventus can make waves in Europe this season
Real Madrid trio Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo all deserve to win the Ballon d’Or, their former team-mate Alvaro Morata has claimed.
The 22-year-old spent six years at Real Madrid before leaving for €20 million this summer, signing a five-year deal with Scudetto holders Juventus.
Morata clearly still holds many of his former Madrid stars in high regard and has tipped Ronaldo to pick up his third Ballon d’Or in January when pitted against Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
“Casillas and Sergio Ramos deserve the Ballon d’Or,” he told Onda Cero. “But Cristiano in recent years has been above the rest and is a fair winner.”
During his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, Morata will have gained an acute awareness of the Madrid rivalry and the forward will be hoping he can make an impact in Juventus’ Champions League clash with Atletico on Tuesday.
Defeat in Turin to the Spanish champions – against whom Morata played in the Champions League final as Real Madrid triumphed after extra-time – could cost Juve a spot in the last 16 should Olympiakos beat Malmo, but the summer signing is keen to prevent a repeat of last season’s final-game embarrassment against Galatasaray.
“We now have an opportunity to remind everyone who we are again in Europe, to send a message that Juventus are challengers,” the Spaniard continued.
“We are at home and we know that there we can beat any team. The crowd is going to give everything – few stadiums in Spain intimidate like ours.
“The Champions League is the ultimate experience for all players at club level, anyone can beat anyone and it is difficult to win this competition. You play a bad game and you go out. Or you have a bit of luck and win the whole thing.
“The important thing is to be in the next round. It motivates me to play against all teams, but it is special because Atleti are Spanish and a team that have been at the highest level in recent years. Who wouldn’t be motivated to play against Atletico?”