Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has joked he will stage a sit-in protest if Cristiano Ronaldo does not win the Ballon d'Or this year.
The 28-year-old Portuguese star, who has scored 62 goals in 2013 and is one short of his best calendar year record, has had to watch Barcelona rival Lionel Messi lift the prestigious trophy for the last four years running.
However, Ancelotti believes it is Ronaldo's turn to receive the award after an impressive year, and quipped that he will protest in his hometown if the Fifa accolade is not awarded to the attacker.
“If they don’t give it to Cristiano I’ll stage a sit-in in Reggiolo [the city of his birth in Italy]. No one deserves the prize more than him. He’s a model professional," he told Italian broadcaster Radio 24. “If he [Ronaldo] didn’t look after every detail, his physique too, he wouldn’t be able to achieve the things he does.”
Madrid currently sits six points behind Barca in La Liga, but Ancelotti says there is not much between the two teams.
“The six-point gap will be hard to overturn, but we feel we’re at their level," Ancelotti said.
Meanwhile, AC Milan, the club with whom he won two Champions Leagues, has had its difficulties this season but Ancelotti believes vice-president Adriano Galliani is unlikely to step aside.
“In terms of experience, he’s second to none," Ancelotti said. "He’s the most important figure at Milan. If he left it would be a significant departure, but it won’t happen.”
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- Lionel Messi