Dunga: I voted for Ronaldo to win Ballon d’Or

The winger is the favourite to win the trophy for a third time and has the backing of Brazil’s coach

Brazil boss Dunga has revealed he voted for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo to win the 2014 Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldo, who was handed the award in 2014, is the favourite to win the trophy for a third time but faces competition from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

There have been growing calls for Neuer to be acknowledged for his role in winning the World Cup with Germany, but Dunga has given his backing to the Portugal captain.

“My vote was for Cristiano Ronaldo,” the 51-year-old said at a press conference in Porto Alegre.

If the 29-year-old is successful in his bid for the Ballon d’Or, he will be just one victory short of matching Messi, who has won the trophy four times.

On Saturday Bayern goalkeeper Pepe Reina said Ronaldo would win the prize but feels Neuer is a more worthy candidate, while Barca midfielder Xavi has also questioned the Portuguese’s credentials because of his failure to shine at the World Cup.

The winner of the award will be announced at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on January 12.