Ballon d'Or deadline extension hands Ronaldo the advantage

Mike Hewitt

FIFA has extended the voting deadline for the Ballon d'Or, meaning Cristiano Ronaldo is the clear favourite to take the prize.

FIFA has extended the deadline for Ballon d'Or voting, meaning Cristiano Ronaldo is now the clear favourite to take the award. The Portuguese winger's heroics against Sweden in the UEFA World Cup qualification playoffs will likely be enough to see him lift the prize for the first time since 2008.

The governing body determined that too few votes -- cast by a mixture of coaches, players and journalists -- had arrived by the original deadline last Friday, forcing the date to be pushed back two weeks to the 29th November. Given his sparkling recent form, that should be enough to ensure Ronaldo's success.

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribéry has also been touted as one of the favourites, and -- of course -- Lionel Messi is in the running, though the Argentine's nagging  injury troubles and (by his standards) unspectacular recent form mean it seems unlikely he'll add to his four Ballons d'Or this year.

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