Ronaldo backs himself for top awards

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The Independent Online

Cristiano Ronaldo believes he deserves to be crowned both European and World Player of the Year.

The Portugal forward is one of the favourites to scoop the awards after leading Manchester United to a Champions League and Premier League double last season.

Ronaldo finished runner-up to Kaka for the 2007 Ballon D'Or, and was third in the running for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, behind Kaka and Lionel Messi.

The 23-year-old faces stiff competition from the likes of Barcelona playmaker Messi and Liverpool forward Fernando Torres, who also impressed in the Premier League and in Europe.

"There cannot be just one candidate," Ronaldo said in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. "There are two or three that deserve it.

"But if you look at what each of them has done throughout the season, I believe I have done more than the rest. What else could I have won for the Golden Ball and the FIFA award?"

He added: "Honestly, regarding the (Ballon D'Or) and the Fifa World Player award I feel confident, I am calm.

"I won the golden boot after scoring 31 goals, I was top scorer in England and in Europe. I was also the top scorer in the Champions League with eight goals and I am not a striker.

"It was a fantastic season but what is more important is the trophies I won with Manchester United, the Premier League and the Champions League."

Ronaldo, meanwhile, is hoping he and his Manchester United team-mates can make history this season by defending the Champions League trophy.

"History sooner or later must change," Ronaldo said. "It could happen already this year.

"Manchester have the potential, players, motivation to win the Champions League twice in a row.

"The team is more mature, has more experience and (Dimitar) Berbatov has arrived.

"We have to believe in ourselves. I hope to soon find the form that I had last season in order to do better than in the 2007-08 campaign."

Ronaldo, who was strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer, is fully focused on succeeding again at United.

"The summer has passed and what I had to say I said it," he said.

"I am at Manchester and I want to win again with Manchester."

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