Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has confirmed that his Ballon d’Or 2013 first-place vote has been cast in favor of club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Spain international caused controversy by voting for Sergio Ramos over Ronaldo in the voting for last year’s award, but insists the Portugal international has his full support this time around.
He told reporters: “I voted before they extended the voting period when I was in Guinea and my first vote was for Cristiano. The other selections will be known soon enough.
“Cristiano has had a spectacular year and he deserves it. I would be surprised if he does not win. The voting is what it is, but I still think it is still a prestigious award.
“Some people vote based on the way you play, others on the number of titles won - but for someone to score 90 goals in 80 games is just brutally good.“
The 32-year-old said Ronaldo has answered FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s recent criticism with his performances on the pitch and admits any success for the forward would be a proud moment for Real Madrid as a whole.
Casillas said of Blatter: “That routine was not his best moment. Sometimes these things catch up with you, but he has apologized and we are not going to make a big deal of it.
“Cristiano does his talking on the pitch and he will be rewarded for that. Hopefully he will get the Ballon d’Or for his play. We are happy because we have contributed to his chances of winning it.”
Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery are expected to be Ronaldo’s biggest challengers for the Ballon d’Or, with the winner announced in Zurich on Jan. 13.