Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo has emerged as hot favourite for the 2013 for Ballon d’Or.
The former Manchester United player put himself in poll position to clinch the player of the year award after he singlehandedly qualified Portugal for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in his country’s World Cup playoff second leg match away to Sweden taking his contribution in the two leg affair to four as Portugal ran out 4-2 winners on aggregate.
Ronaldo was named the 2008 player of the year by FIFA but has failed to reclaim the title ever since often falling behind Argentine international Lionel Messi.
However, with Messi out injured and Ronaldo in fine form for both club and country, the Portuguese could finally get his hand on the coveted title once more.
Meanwhile, FIFA has extended the voting deadline for the Ballon d’Or until the 29th of November so as to allow for increase participation in the award, it is believed that the final day of voting was changed from 15th of November due to a lack of involvement from coaches, captains and media voters.
All eligible voters can now submit their top three for the player of the year prize before the set date, while those who have already submitted theirs now have the opportunity to change their preferences.