Cristiano Ronaldo has previously spoken about his desire to win as many FIFA Ballon d'Or's as possible in his career, but the Real Madrid forward, despite hitting bags of goals last season, believes he will have to relinquish his grip on the coveted title to Lionel Messi, when it is handed out in January.

Ronaldo and Messi are, as always, the favourites for the Ballon d'Or again and even if Ronaldo won the honour last time out, the Portuguese believes this season's award will be taken by Messi, who led Barcelona to the Champions League, La Liga and Copa Del Rey titles last season.

"To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes," Ronaldo told on the Jonathan Ross Show on ITV, which is set to be broadcast on Saturday.

"You win competitions, you win the Champions League you win the league in terms of individual. I did probably the best season of my career which is good and I was the highest scorer in Europe.

"However, it's all about votes, it's difficult and to be honest I'm not very worried about that because as I said many times, I never thought I'd win three times to be honest."

There is a perceived rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi, mainly because they are considered the two best players in the world by some distance.

Asked if that rivalry really does exist, Ronaldo added: "I don't have rivals, we have a normal relationship. We shared this stage at FIFA for eight years.

"No one has done that in the past – only us – so it's good. I have a good relationship with him, he plays for one club, I play for another club.

"He wants the best for him, I want the best for me. We have a good relationship, we are not friends outside football, but we respect each other."