Cannavaro backs Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or

Now coaching in China, ex-Real Madrid centre-back Fabio Cannavaro believes Cristiano Ronaldo to be most worthy of winning the 2016 Ballon d’Orto be awarded in little over a month’s time.

Achieving promotion with Tianjin Quanjian in the Chinese Superleague, Cannavaro is applying everything he learned as a player at the beginning of his career on the touchline, and his time spent with Los Blancos has certainly played a formative role.

“Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or, without a doubt,” Cannavaro said. “Even if he hasn’t scored these last few games, we shouldn’t forget all he’s done this year.

“Carlo Ancelotti used to say that with Cristiano [Ronaldo], it is like starting a match with a 1-0 edge.”

The Italian also was impressed with Zinedine Zidane’s work to turn around the club after Rafa Benitez.

“Zidane has managed things very intelligently,” he said. “After Benitez, he has kept it simple, not really inventing anything new, but always bringing the team joy.”

As to his decision to start coaching, Cannavar admitted that he never really had much of a desire as a player, instead it being a feeling he developed later on.

“When I retired as a player, I first went to Dubai to work as a sporting director,” the ex-defender pointed out. “But in the end, football is football and I’m really enjoying myself now and am focused on improving my methodology.”

Though in China for now, the former centre-back didn’t hesitate to share his ambitions and look ahead, with a return to Europe in some form or other increasingly likely.

“It is my dream to coach Real Madrid,” Cannavaro said. “The Italian national team too.

“If one doesn’t have these types of goals, it is better not to start coaching in the first place.”

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