The 32-year-old is still expected to pick up the Ballon d'Or award on Thursday for firing Real to Champions League glory last season, scoring hat-tricks against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the quarter and semi-finals and a double in the 4-1 win over Juventus in the final. If he wins the award, Ronaldo will tie Lionel Messi's record of being named the best player in the world five times. "I think Cristiano deserves more respect because he is such a great player that when things don't quite go his way everyone has something to say about him," Zidane told a news conference on Tuesday ahead of Real's final Champions League Group H game with Borussia Dortmund. "The club and the fans who love Cristiano Ronaldo know what he is doing. Just last season he had a phenomenal campaign. We are halfway into the season, we still have six months left of the season. Six months is a very long time for Cristiano."
Zinedine Zidane is a big fan of the competition between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. ? pic.twitter.com/9WIXZXfZOX— Goal (@goal) December 5, 2017
Ronaldo has lived up to his high standards in the Champions League in which he is the top scorer with eight goals from five games and on course become the top marskman in Europe's elite competition for a sixth straight year. "For me he deserves to win the Ballon d'Or because he's had an incredible year," Real midfielder Mateo Kovacic said. "I'm very happy for him, the Ballon d'Or means a lot to him and to us although the most important thing is that we win together as a team.
Football: Critics should be careful with Ronaldo - Zidane https://t.co/tX2ghSiPpO— TOI Sports News (@TOISportsNews) December 5, 2017