Cristiano Ronaldo has missed two league games for United so far this season and is set to miss his third when we take on Liverpool tomorrow.

Reports back in August claimed that Ronaldo would be playing by the end of September, with the Bolton game set to be his return date.

He has today said that he is counting down the days to his return, as he wants to prove himself as the best player in the World. Strange, because I thought he’d done that already…

“I hope I’ll be back to playing football soon,” Ronaldo said. “I already count the days to my return and the recovery process is going perfectly. Right now my plan is playing, scoring lots of goals and helping Manchester United and Portugal win titles this year. My dream is being the best footballer in the world but I haven’t made it yet. This is the first time I’ve been out for such a long time and it’s a tough experience. Watching the games from the stands hurts me a lot without being able to do anything to help my team-mates.”

It’s strange to hear Ronaldo be so modest, after usually being more than happy to sing his own praises.

Just this week, Kaka claimed that Lionel Messi should be crowned the best player in the World in December. “Messi is a truly great player,” he said. “Cristiano Ronaldo is also very good and deserves the prize, but I want Leo to be my successor. He has incredible ability and can control the ball superbly and that makes him one of the best players in the world. I think he is the sort of player that you would always want in your team.”

This brings about the question of how do you decide on the greatest player in the World. For all his ability, Messi was out injured for chunks of last season, and had a trophyless season with Barcelona. Messi’s team were beaten by Ronaldo’s team in the Champions League, a competition which Ronaldo scored his team’s only goal of the game in the final.

Ronaldo scred 42 goals in 48 games, he scored against our biggest rivals, as well as being the highest scoring player in the Premiership and in the Champions League.

Some might argue there are qualities in Messi that are better than Ronaldo, but essentially, is that what it’s all about? Is the best player in the World the one with the most ability, or is it the one that has shown his ability on the greatest level? You could argue Paul Scholes is a better footballer than Cristiano Ronaldo, but you could never argue that Scholes should be named the best in the World in December.

For me, this award isn’t about who has got the best ability, rather who has had the best year. Who has the best ability is totally down to opinion, who has had the best season is a little easier to prove.

Last season, Ronaldo won the league and the Champions league, as well as scoring 42 goals in 48 games. In contrast, Lionel Messi won nothing, scoring 10 goals in 40 games. Surely it’s not even a contest? However, considering 1968 was the last time a United player won the Ballon D’or, it’s not totally outlandish to imagine Ronaldo missing out on this award as every other United great has done in the past 40 years.

Does Ronaldo deserve to be named the best player in the World?