Ancelotti: Ronaldo’s hunt for fourth Ballon d’Or starts now

The Italian believes individual awards are a major motivation for his star man, so much so that he will already have begun plotting his bid to be crowned the world’s best next year

Cristiano Ronaldo won his third Ballon d’Or on Monday, but Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says his quest for a fourth has already begun.

The Portugal international beat Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer to prize and if he wins the trophy again he will equal the four won by his Argentine rival.

Ronaldo himself spoke of his desire to draw level with Messi and Ancelotti believes such is the 29-year-old’s motivation to win individual awards, he will immediately begin his bid to be named the world’s best next year.

“It’s not like winning the Ballon d’Or will make Ronaldo relax and take it easy,” Ancelotti said at a press conference.

“Ronaldo has not celebrated his Ballon d’Or success. We only took a picture of Ronaldo with all his team-mates and the staff, but that’s all.

“Individual awards motivate him to do even better. He will start thinking about a fourth Ballon d’Or on Thursday against Atletico.

“Does it bother me that Ronaldo said he doesn’t know where he will be next year? No. The reality is different. It’s enough now with these questions.”

The Italian then discussed the second leg of his side’s last-16 Copa del Rey tie against Atletico Madrid on Thursday and remains confident of bouncing back from a 2-0 defeat in the first leg.

“We know how to play against Atletico. We know them very well. We have to be very intense, but must keep a cool head. We have 90 minutes to turn things around.

“We have to remain calm and keep believing in ourselves. That’s key to beating Atletico.

“They are the best team in Europe when it comes to defending. They are fantastically well organised. The intensity of the game will be crucial.”