Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian legend Ronaldo says he would nominate Barcelona's Lionel Messi for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award if he could vote.

Ronaldo, a three-time winner of the FIFA World Player of Year award, which merged with European Football's Ballon d'Or in 2010, said the Argentinian striker deserved to win ahead of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

"It' s still a battle between those two - Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo," he said on Monday.

"Messi would get my vote because, in addition to being decisive, scoring loads of goals and winning trophies, he's able to bring a special and different kind of magic to football."

Cristiano Ronaldo is a very technical, very skillful and very pragmatic player, but Messi continues to produce the unexpected on a regular basis."

The 36-year-old said he would vote for Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho as coach of the year.

"He is the coach I'd vote for because it's not easy to handle 25 players so well on a daily basis," Ronaldo said.

"He'd get my vote for his tactical organisation, his planning and his training methods." The FIFA Ballon d'Or and World Coach of the Year awards are voted by the captains and head coaches of national teams as well as selected international journalists. The 2012 winners will be announced in Zurich January 7.

(Agencies)

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