Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d’Or – Medhi Benatia

Following his switch from the Santiago Bernabeu last summer, the 34-year-old has been in stunning form for the Old Lady in Serie A this season

Al Duhail defender Medhi Benatia believes his former Juventus teammate Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or this year, ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

The Portuguese star has had a fine start to life in Italy, scoring 28 goals across all competitions with his contributions helping Massimiliano Allegri's men clinch the Italian Super Cup and Italian Serie A this term.

Last year, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric ended Ronaldo and Messi duopoly to become the first player to win the Ballon d'Or other than the two stars since 2007.

After helping the Juventus win the Scudetto for the eighth succesive time, Benatia made a case on why the Portugal international stands a better chance than his Argentine counterpart, as they both gun for their sixth honour.

“Ronaldo? He deserves to win the Ballon d'Or according to me,” Benatia said, per Calciomercato.

“We first have to wait and see who wins the UCL. Messi? He had an incredible season. He would deserve it too but with Liverpool beating Barcelona, I think this reduced his chances.”

Benatia has established himself in Qatar since his move to Al Duhail in January, making 13 appearances in all competitions with two goals to his credit

Next month, the 32-year-old centre-back is expected to lead Morocco at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Atlas Lions have been paired against Namibia, South Africa and Cote d'Ivoire in Group D.