Udinese’s Antonio Di Natale insists it will be impossible for him to win the Golden Ball. “Cristiano Ronaldo deserves it.”
Di Natale is one of six Italians included on the initial list , but the veteran forward isn’t set to make room on his mantelpiece for the Ballon d’Or trophy.
“It’s an honour and satisfying to be included at this stage, but it will be impossible for me to come first,” he told Udinese Channel.
“However, to be named alongside players like Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, but also our own Gigi Buffon, Mario Balotelli and Claudio Marchisio is a great honour.
“I think Real Madrid’s Ronaldo deserves to be crowned as the best player, also because Messi has won it on so many occasions.
“I’d just like to dedicate my inclusion to my club, my teammates and all of the fans.”
Argentina and Barcelona ace Messi has won the last three editions.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £5,000 monthly.