Ronaldo vows to become greatest in history

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Cristiano Ronaldo has pledged to win back the Ballon d'Or and go on to become the greatest footballer in history.

The modest Real Madrid star has seen his 2008 European and world player of the year awards go to Barcelona's Lionel Messi in recent weeks, but has no intention of letting the Argentina ace successfully defend them.

"I'm going to win the Ballon d'Or back, this year or next," the £80m former Manchester United forward told Marca.

"I have an ambition to become the best player in history."

Meanwhile, Ronaldo claims he is now fully recovered from the ankle ligament injury which kept him out for two months earlier in the season.

"The ankle is fine and if not the Real Madrid doctors will see it right," he continued. "I am sure I will not need an operation."

Barcelona defender Dani Alves claims coach Pep Guardiola is the main reason for the Catalan club's unprecedented recent success.

Barca have been crowned Spanish, European and world champions during the past six months.

They also added the European Super Cup, Spanish Supercup and Copa del Rey to an already crowded trophy cabinet this year under the guidance of the rookie coach.

"He works so hard and to be able to take this team full of members from different parts of the world, to guide them, to connect with each of them, to get the best out of all of us is really something," explained Brazilian full-back Alves.

"He will keep on doing it. He is very intelligent and we do well to follow him. If we continue to follow the orders he gives us, we will go very far."