EXCLUSIVE by Rahul Bali (Follow @rahulatma on Twitter)
Former Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos has labelled Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world and has backed him to win a fifth Ballon d'Or ahead of Juventus custodian Gianluigi Buffon, who he describes as the best goalkeeper in the history of the game.
The Brazilian World Cup winner was speaking to Goal ahead of the Champions League final where Cristiano Ronaldo will come up against Gianluigi Buffon as Real Madrid take on Juventus in Cardiff's Millennium stadium on Saturday.
"Of course, Buffon is the best goalkeeper in history but for what Cristiano is doing, it’s difficult to take the Ballon d’Or from him. He is the best in the world," Carlos commented.
The 44-year-old, who enjoyed a trophy-laden 11-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, also expressed hope that Juventus ace Paulo Dybala, who has been linked with a host of top clubs, will jump ship to Real Madrid in the near future.
"About Paulo Dybala, of course there will be a lot of interest from top clubs. He is an excellent player, who knows maybe one day he can wear the t-shirt of the biggest club in the world!"
Juventus full-back Dani Alves has been a key cog in the Bianconeri setup and has been integral in their run to the Champions League final. Despite having enjoyed a stellar career as a right back, Roberto Carlos feels Dani Alves hasn't eclipsed the achievements of Cafu, another great Brazilian full-back.
"I think Cafu, for the history he has especially for the Brazil national team, is in an advantageous position ahead of Dani. Cafu was a leader on and off the pitch and it was he who invented the concept of right-backs running from corner to corner," Carlos explained.