Zinedine Zidane says he would like to see either Cristiano Ronaldo or fellow countryman Franck Ribery pick up the Ballon d’Or award this year.
Ribery was crowned UEFA Best Player last month after inspiring Bayern Munich to the treble last season, pipping fellow nominees Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the prize.
And Zidane believes the 30-year-old deserves global football's top individual honor for 2013 along with Real Madrid star Ronaldo, instead of current holder and four-time winner Messi.
"I hope it will be one of those two, both really deserve it,” stated the Madrid sporting director to TV program Canal Football Club.
"If there were two Ballon d’Or, I would give them one each. As it is, there is only one, but I do not decide!"
Zidane went on to voice his support for striker Karim Benzema, following the criticism leveled at the 25-year-old as a result of his 20-plus-hour goal drought for France.
"We know he has not scored for a long time for France," Zidane continued.
"What I hope is to always see Benzema performing at a good level because he is a talented player who can give a lot to France and Real Madrid."
The World Cup-winner also talked about his relationship with coach Carlo Ancelotti and insisted that his new role on the backroom team at Santiago Bernabeu has not caused any rifts within the current coaching set-up.
“I talked with the coach and he already had his backroom team. It was made clear, his assistant will take care of preparations and training sessions and I would focus more on the team and tactics," explained the 41-year-old.
"This is what interests me and I still have to learn about that.
"I had him [Ancelotti] for two years at Juventus. He has evolved professionally, but as a person, he is always the same, devoted and open-minded."
- Sports & Recreation
- Lionel Messi
- Real Madrid
- Bayern Munich
- Karim Benzema