Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo has secretly called his major rival, Lionel Messi to claim he knows he will win this year’s Ballon D’Or, according to reports in Spain.
The front cover of what appears to be an edition of France Football magazine – which runs the awards – was published on Twitter, which seems to celebrate Messi as 2017’s winner.
However Spanish newspaper Don Balon report the Real Madrid striker has told Messi that he has been informed he, rather than his Barcelona rival, will be the winner.
Ronaldo, who will draw level with Messi on five wins apiece in the Ballon D’Or if he triumphs this year, was reportedly congratulated on his achievement by the Argentinian.
The winner will be officially announced on December 7, the day before Ronaldo and Real Madrid begin their Club World Cup campaign as champions of Europe, having won a second successive Champions League.
The Ballon D’Or has been at the centre of the long-standing rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo, with the pair dominating the award for a decade.
The last year a player other than Ronaldo or Messi won the award was 2007, when Brazilian attacking midfielder Kaka was named as the world’s best player.
While Ronaldo is confident he will be 2017’s champion, Messi has made a head start in his attempt to claim Ballon D’Or No 6.
Messi has scored 16 times in 17 games already this season, compared to Ronaldo’s eight in 13, with just one in La Liga.