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Jan 7, 2013

Ronaldo: You either love or hate me

Cristiano Ronaldo said "not even God" can please everyone as he offered his thoughts prior to Lionel Messi's expected victory in Monday night's 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or award.

• Stats: Case for the Ballon d'Or

Both Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta - who has said he is happy just to be on the three-man shortlist - are in contention, but the 91-goal Argentine is an overwhelming favourite to pick up a record fourth successive trophy.

Speaking in an interview timed to coincide with Monday 's gala awards ceremony in Zurich, 2008 Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo repeated his view that his personality did not help his cause when individual awards were being decided.

"People either love me or hate me," the Real Madrid attacker said. "Not even God is capable of pleasing everyone. This is part of my journey, part of my personality. I will try to make it so that the majority of people like me."

In an apparent comment on Messi's humble public demeanour, the Portugal captain added: "Too much humility is a defect. This is how I am."

Barcelona playmaker Iniesta, in an interview with Sunday's El Pais, recalled his last podium finish in 2010, when he was also nominated but missed out to Messi.

"I knew I had a chance, but Leo won and Barcelona won," he said. "I am not the person to say if I am deserving. I am happy that what I do is valued. I do not need people to signal it out for me. You do not need [an individual] prize to know if you have done well or badly."

The Spain international said he did not think any player considered such awards while they were on the pitch, saying awards "are part of football, but you do not do things for this, at least not consciously".

He added: "Nobody scores a goal or gives a pass thinking: 'This is for the Ballon d'Or.' I am there, it is something nice, I have a chance and I will enjoy the day. It is something to celebrate being among the nominees."

The 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year prize will also be awarded on Monday, with Spain's Vicente Del Bosque, former Barcelona boss Josep Guardiola and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho -who has said he will not attend - making up the shortlist.

Iniesta, who has won many trophies under both Guardiola and Del Bosque, said he hoped the World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 coach received some well-earned recognition.

"I am not going to explain all that Guardiola means for me, but I believe that Del Bosque has done more than enough to be recognised," he added.

"I would be delighted because, apart from his achievements, he transmits values, always, with his behaviour inside and outside [the game]."

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