Cristiano Ronaldo remains the best player in the world and fully deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, Roberto Carlos said as he talked up the Real Madrid star ahead of El Clasico.
Saturday's blockbuster at Camp Nou featuring LaLiga leaders Madrid and reigning Spanish champions Barcelona will see Ronaldo go head-to-head with rival Lionel Messi in another showdown between two of football's greatest ever players.
Ronaldo makes his way to Barca as the league's leading goalscorer with 10 - one more than Messi - and favourite to win France Football's 2016 Ballon d'Or prize.
Despite that, the 31-year-old - who scored a double at home to Sporting Gijon last week on the back of his hat-trick against city rivals Atletico Madrid - has not been without his critics this season following a slow start to the campaign.
But former Madrid left-back Roberto Carlos says there is absolutely no doubting Ronaldo's standing in the game, telling Omnisport: "Talking about Cristiano is very easy. He is the best in the world.
"A truly great player, and everyone keeps saying he continues scoring the most important goals of his career.
"Cristiano is the best in the world, still!"
Ronaldo scored 51 goals in 48 matches in all competitions for Madrid last term, including 12 in the club's Champions League success - their second European crown in three years.
The ex-Manchester United forward also netted three goals as Portugal won Euro 2016 in the nation's first major triumph.
"Cristiano for last season and everything he has done this season, already deserves to have won the Ballon d'Or," added former Brazil international Roberto Carlos, who won four LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies during his trophy-laden career at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"For everything he represents and everything that he is doing for Spanish football and Real Madrid, I think he will win for everything he is doing, has done. He is a sensational player.
"He is consistent and a team player from another level.
"I think that Cristiano over the last few years, has been considered, not just by ex-players, managers and people generally across the world, to be one of the best players of all time."