Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti has said that everyone else will have to wait to win a Ballon d’Or, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have another “two or three years” of sharing the prize between them.
On Monday, Real Madrid’s Ronaldo, 31, received the 2016 award — the fourth Ballon d’Or of his career. Barca’s Messi, 29, has won five — meaning that one or the other has taken the prize in each of the last nine years.
Other younger players mentioned as potential challengers — including Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Barca’s Neymar, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski — have yet to be able to force their way ahead of the pair.
Speaking to AS, the Italian coach said that the Ronaldo-Messi duopoly was likely to continue, and that other players chances were dependent on their teams winning big trophies such as the Champions League.
“In the next two or three years [Ronaldo can win more], no doubt,” Ancelotti said. “The same as Messi. The others will have to wait a bit longer, like for example Lewandowski. We can help them as a team by winning many trophies.”
Ronaldo lifting the Champions League with Madrid and the European Championships with Portugal meant it had been “logical” he won the award this year, Ancelotti said.
“For me he deserved it as he won the Champions League and the European Championships,” he said. “He did better than the others this year, and the prize is logical.”
Ronaldo had at least three or four years left at the top as has changed his game to become more of a penalty box player, his former Real Madrid coach added.
“How long he will continue like this I cannot say, but I don’t believe he is too old yet,” Ancelotti said. “Playing further forward could have an influence in this.
“He is already playing more in the centre, and with time he should drop deep less and stay up front, not getting involved so much in the play. I believe that for three or four years he can keep this high level.”