Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be crowned the latest winner of the Ballon d’Or on Monday night, according to Spanish sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
Francesc Aguilar, a well-connected journalist within the Barcelona-based sports daily, has revealed that the announcement will be made a 7pm next Monday (8pm, CET) and the following day France Football , the publication that founded the prize, will publish an exclusive interview.
Staff from France Football will fly to Madrid on Thursday to conduct the interview and take photographs of the Portuguese superstar being awarded the trophy.
From early evening on Monday, L’Equipe will reveal the votes for each of the 30 players on the shortlist.
Ronaldo won the Champions League and European Championship in 2016, despite having a year in which his performance levels were generally on the decline.
The 31-year-old was ineffective in the semi-finals and final of the Champions League, but scored the winning penalty in the shoot-out.
Former Barcelona president Joan Gaspart claimed this week that “to say that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world is to be very ignorant.”
“Messi is the best, and I’m not just saying that because I signed him.”
Messi has won five Ballon d’Or, more than any other player, but is expected to get second place in this year’s race.