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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 8, 2008

Ronaldo is worthy heir to Ballon d'Or, says Kaka

Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to succeed Kaka as the Ballon d'Or winner but he also warned the Manchester United winger that he is determined to help Brazil beat his Portugal team this month.

Ronaldo is strong favourite to take 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 match is important for me because we'll play at a stadium that's a few paces from where I was born," the AC Milan playmaker told Saturday's La Gazzetta dello Sport referring to the friendly in Brasilia on Nov. 19.

"And I want to beat Cristiano, who will deservedly win the Ballon d'Or, and make all Brazilian people happy."

Kaka scooped the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player prizes last year after being the driving force behind Milan's successful campaign to win their seventh European champions title.

The 26-year-old added that he did not see himself as a coach when he retires and that Brazil's failure at the 2006 World Cup has taught him that talent only goes so far in football.

"I played in a Brazil side full of talent at the 2006 World Cup and I won nothing," he said.

"This means that team spirit and the capacity to make sacrifices are necessary elements (of success)."

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