20

Ronaldo v Messi stats

Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or for the second year in succession at Monday's gala ceremony in Zurich ahead of Manuel Neuer and Lionel Messi.

Messi has finished in the top two in each of the last seven years but, despite another prolific year in 2014, appears this time to be lagging behind his two rivals.

A disappointing World Cup, in which he was eliminated at the group stage with Portugal, has not prevented Ronaldo from staking a strong claim to win the prize for the third time overall.

The 29-year-old Real Madrid superstar scored a remarkable 61 goals in the calendar year as he helped his club win the Champions League, Copa del Rey and Uefa Super Cup, before ending 2014 by securing the Club World Cup.

Ronaldo scored a record 17 goals in last season's Champions League and has already netted a phenomenal 26 goals in 16 La Liga games this season