20 June 2017
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has backed Marco Asensio to challenge Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or and feels he has all the qualities to become one of the best players in the world.
Asensio is rated one of the best young talents in Europe after he made an immediate impact in his first full season for the Spanish giants and played his part in helping them secure the La Liga title and winning the Champions League.
The 21-year-old has shown he is not intimidated by playing alongside some of the biggest names in world football including Ronaldo and Gareth Bale and capped off a memorable first season by scoring in the Champions League final against Juventus.
Ronaldo is being strongly tipped to win the Ballon d’Or for the 5th time this year following another superb season, but faces strong competition from Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar.
With all the speculation surrounding the future of Ronaldo, Perez feels there could be another major challenger to his throne over the next few years.
Perez, speaking in Spanish newspaper Marca, said: “Asensio has become a big player and can become a Golden Ball winner.
“He has all the qualities to succeed He is humble, hardworking, sensible, a team player and has tremendous quality.
“All his team-mates recognise the quality he has and it is not about money. He is one of those players we signed up because he has the quality to play in the first-team.
“This has been his first season and Zidane has handled it wonderfully. Every time he has played, he has been magnificent.”