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Mourinho: Ronaldo deserved Ballon d'Or

March 20, 2013
By ESPN staff

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho believes Cristiano Ronaldo was unfairly beaten to the 2012 Ballon d'Or crown, insisting the Portuguese winger was more "decisive" than Lionel Messi last year.

Jose Mourinho
GettyImagesJose Mourinho believes Lionel Messi was an undeserving winner of the Ballon d'Or

• Mourinho denies scouting Drogba

Messi, 25, claimed his fourth consecutive player of the year award in January, edging out Ronaldo and third-placed Andres Iniesta with 41.6% of total votes.

But Mourinho claims Ronaldo was more influential to Real Madrid as Los Blancos became Spanish champions, suggesting he refused to turn up to the awards ceremony due to inaccurate voting.

"Cristiano should have won the award to the best player in the world," Mourinho told RTP1. "He was champion in La Liga, he was decisive in the league with all the records.

"Am I sorry for not having gone to the gala? No. It was the right decision. One, two or three people called me saying they had voted for me but the vote showed up as cast for somebody else. So, I decided not to go."

In an interview fitting of Mourinho's animation, he also accused former Inter Milan manager Rafa Benitez of trying to remove any memory of the Portuguese boss's time with the Nerazzurri: "Benitez wanted to remove my photos, but they came back once he was gone," he said.

Real Madrid host Galatasaray on April 3 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie and Mourinho has urged his side to take a positive result into the return leg in Istanbul and avoid a repeat of their 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the Bernabeu last round.

"The draw is not something to get nervous about because there is not much to choose between the teams," he told the club's official website.

"It will be tough but we need to try to get something positive from the first match, something we didn't manage against Manchester United. We have to make sure we go there with a small advantage.

"It was a great win, but Real Madrid can never be happy with getting to the quarter-finals and we always have to look to go further. That's why we are already thinking about making it to the semi-finals."