Forget his undoubted talent, former Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov claimed Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo will probably win the Ballon d’Or not for footballing reasons but because of his looks after talking up Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale as contenders.
Griezmann and Bale are both preparing for Euro 2016 semi-finals following successful club campaigns for Atletico and Real Madrid respectively.
Frenchman Griezmann scored 32 goals in all competitions as Atletico finished third in La Liga and lost to Madrid in the Champions League final, while Bale netted 19 and recorded 10 assists.
But a week on from labelling Madrid’s James Rodriguez an “average player”, outspoken Bulgarian Stoichkov took aim at four-time Ballon d’Or/World Player of the Year Ronaldo.
“Griezmann is blowing everyone away and playing some spectacular football,” Stoichkov told Spanish radio channel Cadena Cope.
“But they’ll probably give it to Cristiano Ronaldo again for being guapo [handsome]!”
On Bale – who will come up against Ronaldo’s Portugal in the semis – and his Ballon d’Or hopes specifically, Stoichkov said the Welsh wizard will be among the candidates if “Wales reach the final”.