The rivalry between the modern marvels of football in the present day seems to be never-ending as both of them outperform every now and then, giving the fans a platform to debate. This debate is on the latest Ballon d’Or 2017.
Ballon d’Or is truly an ultimate reward for individual brilliance (as it claims), and it has rightly been shared between the duo for the past 10 years, with both of them winning 5 times each as there has been no other player matching their standards in the recent past.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won this year’s Ballon d’Or but this result does not seem to be satisfying. Why?
Cristiano Ronaldo won the La Liga and UEFA Champions League putting some outstanding performance on exhibition.
But, Ballon d’Or as it claims is an award for individual brilliance and not for collective brilliance.
Individually Lionel Messi had a better year and the stats are at our disposal.
Leo Messi has scored a total of 52 goals for his club and country compared to Ronaldo’s 49 goals. Though Ronaldo fans always argue that Ronaldo is a better goalscorer than Messi, he is leading the strength of Cristiano Ronaldo this year. Here, one might argue that Messi made more appearances than Ronaldo (62 to 56) but you must look at these stats – Messi averages a goal every 97.1 minutes while Ronaldo seems to slack a little with a goal every 103.35 minutes.
Let’s move on to the number of assists, here it’s a close call as Messi bagged 14 assists this season compared to Ronaldo’s 13.
The Barcelona talisman also had a conversion rate of 23.41% compared to his rival’s 18.69%.
Here, Messi has a clear lead. The Barcelona forward created 121 opportunities for his teammates compared to his arch-rival who has to settle for 55 opportunities which itself displays how big an influence Messi was on his team.
One might argue by giving an example of Ronaldo’s heroics against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid but one must not forget, what Ronaldo was doing occasionally, Messi was doing regularly. It was his hat-trick that helped his country qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018. It was him scoring in the dying moments of the El-Classico that helped them win it. Even in their loss to Juventus, we could see him thrive to drive his team to the finishing line although he couldn’t.
Football is a team sport but Ballon d’Or is an individual award. A player should not be denied the award for the slump in form of his team. The best should be rewarded with the best and if you are considering the collective achievements then the award should not be given to an individual.