The race for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or is likely once again to come down to one of two men so talked about that their names barely even need mentioning. What makes the 2013 award more interesting than in some of the previous editions, is that Lionel Messi’s four-year winning streak appears set to end. The Argentine will be on the podium once again when the winner is announced on 13th January in Zurich, but he will have to applaud as Franck Ribery or, more likely, Cristiano Ronaldo, take his crown from him.
Ronaldo is the clear front-runner and a cursory glance at the statistics reveals exactly why. For one thing, he has scored 69 goals, more than his two rivals combined, in 2013. This season he has struck an average of 1.5 goals per game and set a Champions League group stage record of scoring nine goals. He has also overtaken Pauleta and Eusebio as Portugal’s all-time top goalscorer. Ronaldo has produced arguably the individual performance of the season too, even if Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez may offer counter arguments. But certainly no one has displayed as high a level of quality when the stakes have been as high as Ronaldo did in the World Cup qualifying playoff against Sweden in November. It is worth recalling that performance.
Having scored the only goal of the first leg, Portugal had a useful lead to defend in Sweden. Ronaldo put the Portuguese in front after latching onto a Joao Moutinho through ball to fire a convincing finish home. After Ibrahimovic had made his own claim to be the world’s best player of the moment, scoring a stylish quick-fire brace to put Sweden on the verge of the World Cup, Ronaldo took centre stage once again. He found himself through on goal from Hugo Almeida’s ball over the top, and he his left-footed finish was that of a man determined that he was going to be in Brazil next summer as part of the show, rather than a spectator. Just after that, Ronaldo made another super run and scored his 3rd goal, second hattrick for Portugal in his career.
Hattrick at that big stage, helping his team single handly to go through World cup is special from the real madrid star.
As we know Ballon d’Or is given on the individual performance, Ronaldo is far ahead than his two rivals to win it. On January 15, In Zurich, It’s More likely to be Ronaldo is going to hold the Ballon d’Or 2013. It will the second time for the portugese to win the World Player of the Year in his career.