Cape Town - Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti believes it is already a foregone conclusion that Cristiano Ronaldo will again be named the World Footballer of the Year.
The Portuguese superstar ended Barcelona forward Lionel Messi's run of four successive Ballon d'Or honours after snatching the award at the beginning of 2014.
Ronaldo has since looked worth every vote he received after his hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday took his tally to 13 goals from seven games this term, while also marking his third treble of the campaign.
"I think there can be no doubt about Cristiano for the Ballon d’Or this year," said Ancelotti. "There’s no putting money on it.
“All three of our forwards were fantastic (against Athletic). Cristiano and (Karim) Benzema scored but Gareth Bale made assists and worked hard.
“It’s essential to work together. The midfield was good, too.
“With the ball we have three in midfield and without it, Bale helps us defend and makes a line of four. James Rodriguez then moves to the left. We’re adapting and eager to learn.
“This was our best game, much better than last year at this point. What we need now is continuity.
"We were more attentive at set-pieces and kept a clean sheet. Everything went well.”