Cristiano Ronaldo is set to win the Ballon d’Or for the second time in his career on Monday. As the Ballon D’Or gala date coming closer, it’s becoming clear that Ronaldo has it in the bag from the all the sources and officials.
As happens every year, word is leaked through the grapevine and the final 3 candidates invariably know who the winner is well before it’s announced on the night.
In Spain, it’s becoming accepted that Ronaldo has won, and Spanish media group El Chiringuito claim to have a scoop on how this has impacted on Leo Messi.
El Chiringuito claim that Messi has been informed that he’s set to cede his trophy of 4 years to Ronaldo, and that he now doesn’t want to attend.
Chiringuito’s Morales said: ‘A Real Madrid official is aware that Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon D’Or.
When Messi heard this, his first reaction was to cancel his participation.”
If it transpires that Messi boycotts the ceremony, it will speak very poorly of the 4-time winner; though one would think common sense will see through and that he’ll attend and congratulate Ronaldo.
REASONS WHY CRISTIANO RONALDO MUST WIN THE BALLON D’OR 2013
- Took Portugal To The World Cup 2014 All By Himself
Ronaldo answered the critics who claimed he can’t show up in big games back in November as he powered Portugal to victory over Sweden in the second leg of the UEFA World Cup qualifying play-off.
With his team ahead by a slim one-goal margin after the first leg, Ronaldo erupted for a brilliant hat-trick that booked the Portuguese team’s plane ride to Brazil in June.
In the process of scoring his hat-trick, Ronaldo tied Pauleta for most goals scored by a Portugal player with 47.
That record will undoubtedly be in the sole possession of Ronaldo very soon.
Just the other day, Ronaldo netted the 400th goal of his career against Celta Vigo.
To put the achievement into perspective, the Portuguese star is just 28 years old.
That means he has at least five more years to play at the top level of world football to score a ridiculous amount of goals.
If he continues on with his goalscoring antics even longer, the number of career goals scored by Ronaldo could reach close to 600 or even 700.
- The Most Complete Player at Current and in the History of Football
Now, as he closes in on his second award, he is known as a player who can basically do anything that is asked of him.
These days, Ronaldo can be seen scoring with either foot and his head as well in different scenarios such as free-kicks and long marauding runs through the center of the pitch.
There is no doubt that he was a world-class player in 2008, but Ronaldo has taken his play to a different level in the five years since winning his first Ballon d’Or.
- Individual Champions League Dominance
Real Madrid did not win the Champions League—or any trophy to be precise—in 2013, but Ronaldo did make his mark on the top club competition in the world.
Ronaldo scored seven goals in the knockout round of the 2012-13 edition of the tournament, where Los Blancos fell in the semi-finals to Borussia Dortmund.
In group play in 2013, Ronaldo scored a whopping nine goals in five matches, which totals to 16 goals in one calendar year against some of the best opposition the world can offer.
- Ronaldo can score any where
As we all know, scoring is not a talent that Ronaldo saves just for the spectators at the Bernabeu.
He also delivers on the numerous road trips that Los Blancos venture out on every season.
Against Valencia in December, Ronaldo scored his 71st away goal for Real Madrid to tie Alfredo di Stefano on the team’s away goal leaderboard.
As 2014 begins, Ronaldo is just 16 goals away from tying the legendary Raul in the road goals department.
- Versatility on the Pitch
Few players on the planet can shift into numerous positions and deliver a strong performance at each of them.
Ronaldo is one of the select group of footballers who can adjust to his surroundings on the fly and find comfort at whatever position he lands in the starting 11.
He has mainly been used as a forward on the left side of a 4-3-3, but he can also drop further back into the midfield on the left wing and play as a straight-up forward.
While he has only played in those three main positions, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that a player of his ability could play on the right or in the center of midfield if called upon as well.
- The Best Free-Kick Taker in the World
Of his more than 400 goals scored at every level of the game, Ronaldo has scored 38 from direct free-kicks, which equates to just under 10 percent of his career goal total.
- He Took Advantage of Being the Only Player in the World Spotlight
2013 also presented a challenge to Ronaldo to see if he could handle the spotlight of the world with Lionel Messi out for a while due to injuries.
Ronaldo answered that call in stellar fashion as he had one of the best goalscoring seasons in the history of the game.
If he continues the same form from 2013 into 2014, he could beat out a healthy Messi fair and square for next year’s Ballon d’Or.
- The Most Popular Player in the Eyes of the Fans
According to this report from J.J. Garcia-Ochoa of Marca back in March, Ronaldo is a money-making machine for Real Madrid.
That also means that he has become one of the most popular players among the fans of the beautiful game.
While most fans would argue that Messi is more popular, Ronaldo has a more recognizable personal brand and is the first name to come out of the mouths of casual bypassers of the sport.
His popularity will only continue to rise as his play gets better, and if he plays well at the World Cup this summer, his image will grow larger than it already is.
- 1.17 Goals Per Game
Ronaldo appeared on a football pitch 59 times in 2013 and his goals per game average equated to 1.17.
That means that he scored well over a goal per game, a number that seems impossible to the average fan.
However, Ronaldo is as close to superhuman as it gets in today’s game, which would explain an out-of-this world statistic.
- Without Ronaldo, Madrid Would Be in Crisis Mode
Take a second to imagine what would have happened at Real Madrid had Ronaldo been taken away from the lineup for a long span of time as Messi has been on occasion.
Now that you have thoughts of a disappointing Madrid side that would have been eliminated early on in the knockout phase of the Champions League, it is right to say that Ronaldo kept Los Blancos relevant for most of the 2012-13 season.
With less than stellar defending and a disappointing collection of other goalscorers on the team, Ronaldo managed to pull Los Blancos as far as he could.
Had Ronaldo not been on the pitch, Jose Mourinho would have had a more dramatic ending at the Bernabeu that would not have seen him last the entire 2012-13 season.
- 69 Goals in 2013
Speaking of his importance to Real Madrid, Ronaldo scored 59 times for Los Blancos in 2013.
The 59 goals added to the growing total of La Liga goals that the Portuguese star has scored, a number that now stands at 166 after scoring twice against Celta Vigo on Monday.
On top of his record year at club level, Ronaldo had his best season on the international stage as well.
The 10 goals that Ronaldo scored for the Portuguese national team came in five different games.
He scored two hat-tricks against Sweden and Northern Ireland, while scoring once against Ecuador, Croatia and the Netherlands in friendly matches. Ronaldo also scored a single goal in the first leg of the play-off against Sweden.
Although he didn’t score in other crucial games, Ronaldo more than made up for those matches with four goals when Portugal’s World Cup berth was at stake.
For the last four years, Ronaldo has been the bridesmaid to Messi, but that is about to change.
It is a shame that he did not win a single trophy with Real Madrid in 2013, but the greatest individual achievement in the game awaits him on Monday—and no one is more deserving this year than Ronaldo.