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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 13 hours ago
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Oct 24, 2008

Ronaldo backs himself for world and Euro awards

Cristiano Ronaldo has backed himself to win both the 2008 Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards after inspiring Manchester United to the Champions League and Premier League double last season.

The Portugal winger and bookies' favourite to win the honour told La Gazzetta dello Sport:''Sincerely, yes, I'm confident.

"If you assess what I did over the course of the season, I think I did more than everyone. What else should I have done to win the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA award."

The 23-year-old, who scored 42 goals for United in their double-winning season, picked up the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award, as well as the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year in an incredible sweep of last season's silverware.

Ronaldo is on a 30-man shortlist for the 2008 Ballon d'Or, formerly known as the European Footballer of the Year award, and faces competition from the likes of Barcelona's Argentine midfielder Lionel Messi and United team mate Wayne Rooney.

The prize will be awarded on Dec. 2 from a poll of 96 journalists from all over the world organised by France Football magazine.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, is hoping he and his Manchester United team-mates can make history this season by defending the Champions League trophy.

''History sooner or later must change,'' Ronaldo said. ''It could happen already this year.

''Manchester have the potential, players, motivation to win the Champions League twice in a row.

''The team is more mature, has more experience and (Dimitar) Berbatov has arrived.

''We have to believe in ourselves. I hope to soon find the form that I had last season in order to do better than in the 2007-08 campaign.''

Ronaldo, who was strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer, is fully focused on succeeding again at United.

''The summer has passed and what I had to say I said it,'' he said.

''I am at Manchester and I want to win again with Manchester.''

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