Kohli inspired by Ronaldo's work to outshine 'freak' Messi

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo beat Barcelona rival Messi to the 2016 Ballon d'Or, reclaiming the title after it went to the Argentina international in 2015.

Virat Kohli - cropped

"I take a lot of inspiration from Ronaldo. The way he's stayed on top for so many years, it's nothing but down to hard work. I've heard he's the most hard-working footballer in the world."

India Test captain Virat Kohli says he is inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo's work to be better than "freak" Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo beat Barcelona rival Messi to the 2016 Ballon d'Or, reclaiming the title after it went to the Argentina international in 2015.

And Kohli believes Ronaldo's supremacy is the result of hard graft, compared to Messi's natural talent.

"I take a lot of inspiration from Ronaldo," he told ecb.co.uk. "The way he's stayed on top for so many years, it's nothing but down to hard work.

"I've heard he's the most hard-working footballer in the world. That's why he is where he is.

"Messi is a freak, but this guy's giving him a run for his money all because of his hard work."

After racking up 1,215 Test runs in 2016, Kohli reflected: "I think it's down to understanding my game much better than I used to.

"It's being happy with the ability that I have and the drawbacks I have in my game. I understand the flaws and the strengths very nicely at the moment. It's all about finding the right balance.

"People talk about guys not having flaws at all - that's wrong. Everyone has flaws.

"Consistency is nothing but overcoming those flaws and finding a way to score runs.

"I've sort of come to that conclusion, in the Test format especially.

"I feel in a happy space knowing exactly where my game is going."