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Cristiano Ronaldo names six players who can succeed him as the world’s best

 

What a year it’s been for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Following Portugal’s success at Euro 2016 last summer, the 32-year-old won a fourth Ballon d’Or and then completed a historic La Liga and Champions League double with Real Madrid.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player award soon followed to cement Ronaldo’s status as the world’s current best player, ahead of long-time rival Lionel Messi.

As for this summer, Ronaldo scored a screamer to help Real beat Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup but didn’t feature against Manchester United in the UEFA Super Cup.

And just to top it all off, the Portuguese won UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for a third time during Thursday’s ceremony in Monaco.

Ronaldo turns 33 in February but is still showing no signs of decline, despite being forced to adapt his style of play in Madrid.

He may not be as fast as he used to be, but Ronaldo still knows how to find the back of the net, as demonstrated against Fiorentina earlier this week in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy.

When Theo Hernandez found Ronaldo down the left channel, the Portugal international cut inside and lashed fierce strike past the goalkeeper into the top-right corner.

After being named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, Ronaldo dedicated the honour to his teammates, friends and family (see below).

He wrote: “Thanks to my teammates, coaches and staff who helped me win this trophy. I dedicate this to my family, friends and fans. This is also yours!”

Ronaldo is on cloud nine at the moment, but Portuguese isn’t silly – he knows his time at the top is running out.

Now 32, age will inevitably catch Ronaldo up at some stage, which begs the question of who will succeed him – and Messi – and the world’s best player.

Speaking at the ceremony in Monaco, Ronaldo tipped six players as his potential heir: Marco Asensio, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Ousmane Dembele, Eden Hazard and Marcus Rashford.

“A very good question,” he began. “I see some with great potential: Asensio, Mbappe, Neymar, Dembele, Hazard, Rashford and some others.

Exciting times ahead. Ronaldo and Messi have been the world’s undisputed two best players for 10 years now, but there could be as many 10 players battling for the crown in the near future.

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