Former Real Madrid and France star Raymond Kopa has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or trophy again.
Kopa, with fellow former Ballon d’Or winners Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldo Nazario and Michael Owen, was at the Bernabeu last weekend as Ronaldo was honoured for winning world football’s top individual prize for the fourth time.
And the 85-year-old told Marca he felt there was no reason why Ronaldo, 31, could not add to his haul.
“It will be more difficult as the years pass, and above all he must avoid injuries,” he said. “He can keep playing and he can win more Ballon d’Or trophies.
“Some players have more longevity. If you are serious, if you love what you do, you show it every day.”
Asked to choose between Ronaldo and Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, Kopa refused to be drawn but added: “I have friends who call me and say: ‘Hey, Messi, how are you today?’
“They do that to make me happy. He is a talented player, and he shows that every day too. They are both incredible.”
Kopa recalled how the Bernabeu fans had given him a warm welcome, adding: “The fans were great — not like the writer from your paper who criticised me and called me ‘The Frenchman’ — I did not like it.
“But it did not last long as things went very well for me during my three years here.”