Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic has insisted that it is just a matter of time before Cristiano Ronaldo returns to his goalscoring best in La Liga, as he backs his teammate to win the Ballon d'Or award.
Ronaldo, who has scored just twice in 10 league games this term for Los Blancos, will be up against Barcelona star Lionel Messi at Thursday's ceremony.
The Portugal international is favourite to win the accolade for a record-equalling fifth time, which Kovacic believes is just rewards for a player who played a pivotal part in last term's double-winning campaign.
"Me and the rest of my teammates, we see Cristiano as always in good shape," he told reporters. "He's the best player in the world and he has already scored many goals this season and he will score way more goals for sure.
"At the moment the ball is not willing to go in, but as I said before, this is football and sometimes the ball doesn't want to get in the goal, but there's still time left until the end and he will score way more as usual.
"I think he should win the Ballon d'Or because his year was amazing. He scored many goals, won everything with the team and he was a key piece of that. I'm really happy for him. We all are. But the most important thing for us is to win as a team.
"The Ballon d'Or is important for us and for Cristiano because it's amazing to be able to win a fifth Ballon d'Or but as I said, for us the most important thing is to be a team and win for the team."
Ronaldo has had better luck in the Champions League in 2017-18, scoring eight goals in five group-stage matches.