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Cristiano Ronaldo thinks he will once again face strong competition from Lionel Messi and four other players for the 2017 Ballon d'Or. The Real Madrid and Portugal star won the coveted award ahead of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann and later added the inaugural Best FIFA Men's Player award after winning both the Champions League and the European Championships. In the 2016/17 season, Ronaldo once again helped Zinedine Zidane's side win the Champions League and their first domestic league title since Jose Mourinho's departure. Despite being the bookmakers' favourite for the 2017 personal awards, the man himself knows he has stiff competition. “Of course it is always going to be a fight between us,” he told ESPN during his personal pre-season tour of China. “I'm there along with [Lionel] Messi, Neymar, [Robert] Lewandowski and [Gonzalo] Higuain. “That kind of fighting and competition is healthy and that is what motivates me, being better than them year after year. “The best always try to compete with the best, it keeps you sharp. You know you can never lose focus because others will overtake you. “
Back in May, it was reported that France Football Magazine named Gianluigi Buffon, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann as Ronaldo's challengers. The Magazine which hands out the awards omitted Lionel Messi's name from the list of contenders. .