Cristiano Ronaldo Wins the Ballon d’Or 2017

Ronaldo Ballon d'Or

Copyright @ Maxisports DepositPhoto

Cristiano Ronaldo Will Equal Lionel Messi’s 5 Ballon d’Or trophies

Destination Soccer can proudly announce that the Ballon d’Or 2017 Awards are essentially over. Cristiano Ronaldo is essentially guaranteed the Ballon d’or 2017 with only half the year being over.

After a spectacular season with Real Madrid including winning the first La Liga Title for Los Blancos in 5 years and a fantastic performance in the Champions League Final against Juventus, Ronaldo is in an unassailable position to win this December’s Ballon d’Or for the fifth time to equal that of Messi and just two Ballon d’Ors behind Pele.

Plus, he has the chance to defend his Club World Cup Trophy in December, the Club World Cup win in 2016. And of course, Ronaldo is in Russia this summer for the Confederations Cup as a European Champion, whilst Messi is not there as he failed to become either a World of South American Champion despite being in three Finals in three years.

Juventus end Messi and Neymar’s Ballon d’Or chances but help Ronaldo

Now, if Barcelona had gone on to win the Champions League in 2017 after their spectacular 6-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain despite being 4-0 down after the First Leg, then it could only have been Messi or maybe for the first time ever, Neymar.

However, Messi nor the whole of the Barcelona team could not score against Juventus over 180 minutes, or two full games. Meanwhile, Ronaldo destroyed Juventus with his sensational pass to Carvahal into space from which Ronaldo himself scored and then a second goal later on in the game. He rose the occasion.

Messi was unable to dominate Juventus. Against the same opposition, Ronaldo was able to shine.

El Clasico 2017 was just not enough for Messi

Messi had an incredible game against Real Madrid in La Liga in April 2017. He was battered by Madrid including losing a tooth but went on to score a sensational 92nd minute goal to win the game and take the League Title to a thrilling climax. However, it is not enough as at the very end, he won no Titles. He will not be able to win any Titles (apart from the Copa del Rey) in time for the Ballon d’Or voting.

Ronaldo, assuming he is still at Madrid, will be defending the UEFA Super Cup against Manchester United before the 2017/18 season starts. And defending the Club World Cup. Even if he joins a different team, as long as he keeps up the scoring run and avoids injury he has won.

Plus, Messi had a wretched World Cup Qualifying Campaign with Argentina including being suspended for a game which Argentina went on to lose. He still has some games left in 2017 but even winning those games is unlikely to be enough for him to win the Ballon d’Or.

The Tax Issue Is Just Not An Issue

Ronaldo’s recent tax issues with the Spanish tax authorities are not an issue. Messi’s appeal against the two year prison sentence was rejected so he is essentially a convicted criminal. He still won the Ballon d’Or during the time he was sentenced. Therefore it is unlikely that the tax issues will stop Ronaldo from claiming what is rightfully his – a fifth trophy.

And finally, the stats really don’t matter. Previously, even when Messi had a better goal scoring record than Ronaldo, Ronaldo still won the Ballon d’Or. The key is the trophies won and the performances in the biggest games.

A Worthy Winner of the Ballon d’Or – Cristiano Ronaldo

So, with all that being said, we predict Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or later this year. What do you think?

Is Messi the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or 2017?

Lionel Messi @ Maxisports DepositPhotos

Lionel Messi had a terrible 2016. He lost the Ballon d’Or to Ronaldo. He lost the Champions League – again to Ronaldo and Real Madrid. Also in the summer whilst Ronaldo won the European Championships with Portugal, Messi failed at the Copa America Centenario with Argentina.

Plus of course, Ronaldo went on to win the FIFA World Player of the Year Award, the Club World Cup and so much more., For normal players what Messi achieved in 2016 would be great but this is the player who has won 5 Ballon d’Or Awards.

So, in 2017, is Messi the favorite?

The World Thinks Messi is the Favorite

Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or

Copyright @ Maxisports DepositPhotos

Let’s look at some opinions. Firstly – you, the Destination reader. On the poll of who will win the Ballon d’Or 2017, you have given Messi 56% vote compared to only 26% for Ronaldo. (If you haven’t already voted please vote on the right hand side menu on the web page or choose polls from the mobile menu).

Similarly, the bookmakers – the people whose livelihood depends on getting the odds correct, predict Messi will win the Ballon d’Or this year – with Messi at 2.00 compared to 2.75 for Ronaldo. (Interestingly and incredibly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is third with 6.00. He was nowhere to be seen the last time I reviewed the odds table).

Is Messi really the favorite for the Ballon d’Or 2017?

Messi 2018 Updated Edition: More Than a Superstar

As we wrote in a previous article, it all comes down to moments and trophies. The Ballon d’Or is now decided by journalists from prestigious sports and football only publications around the world. We have lost the votes from the international captains and managers. Also, the Ballon d’Or cuts across two seasons and a summer. It is very hard to get a clear understanding of who exactly the best player is.

Now, we have just examined how Neymar’s stunning performance in the incredible 6-1 victory against Paris Saint Germain in the Champion’s League Round of 16 for the first time has given us something to really remember him by and let him stand out.

The key thing is he has put Messi back in the hunt for the Champions League trophy. Surely the key element of him winning the Ballon d’Or? And there is even an outside chance of Messi winning La Liga. What a stunning El Clasico we have coming up on Sunday, 23rd April. If Barcelona win that and Messi puts in a man of the match performance he is in with a real chance.

As we have seen on the statistics between Messi and Ronaldo are really similar, and in fact Messi provides more assists than Ronaldo yet still ends up coming second.

The Ronaldo Factor

Ulgen Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 Hiphop Sports Unisex Flat Brim Snapback Hats Caps

There is the other issue of a hungry Ronaldo. He knows he has to win the Ballon d’Or this year. This way he would equal Messi’s 5 trophies. If he loses this year, it is over for him.

Ronaldo has plenty of chances – the Confederations Cup, the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the Champions League and ahead of the pack in La Liga. The Ballon d’Or is Ronaldo’s trophy to lose rather than Messi’s to win.

Which is why the Champions League is everything. It is hard to imagine Real Madrid winning a second Champions League in a row. (It has never been done in the Champions League era). However, this is a time of incredible things – Leicester City winning the Premier League, firing their heroic manager then reaching the Quarter Finals of the Champions League. Plus the incredible 6-1 game we have already discussed.

So maybe Ronaldo can do it.

Messi Must Keep Up The Scoring

Messi, Lionel Andres - Legendary

Messi currently has 16 goals from 19 appearances for club and country compared to 10 goals from 15 appearances by Ronaldo. Also, Messi has 6 assists v 4 assists from the same number of games by each player. Their records are very similar.

Therefore it will be what they achieve and what we remember. Ronaldo was dominant throughout the 2016 European Championships tournament and we remember his passion.

It is time for Messi to step up and take his 6th Ballon d’Or trophy and finally prove he is the greatest player of all time.

Messi v Ronaldo: Who Will Win the Ballon d’Or 2017?


Who will win the Ballon d’Or 2017?


This year – 2017 – is probably the most important year in modern times in Ballon d’Or history. It could also finally solve the age old question, who is better – Messi or Ronaldo?

Why is this? Currently, Messi holds 5 Ballon d’Or awards – the most of any player in history (yes, of course Pele was not allowed a Ballon d’Or award but that is a different story). And Ronaldo now holds 4 Ballon d’Or Awards.

So, if Messi wins this year, he will catapult into an unbeatable lead of 6-4. If Ronaldo wins again, these two will be tied for the greatest ever status.

Messi v Ronaldo: A Battle For The Ages

Messi vs. Ronaldo: The Greatest Rivalry in Football History

Has there even been such a contest in football? We have had Maradona v Pele for the greatest player ever. With both players being awarded a FIFA Award for Player of the 20th Century. However, they were playing in different eras. Both transcended the sport – Maradona and what he gave the people of Naples and Pele in how he changed the face of American soccer. Plus both are legendary figures recognized and celebrated world wide.

Messi v Ronaldo is another such rivalry. They play for the biggest teams in the world – Barcelona and Real Madrid – who themselves are caught up in the world’s biggest rivalry – El Clasico. They both fight each year for the Champions League and both also are at a world class level with their countries. Ronaldo winning Euro 2016 with Portugal whilst Messi reached two Copa America Finals and of course, the World Cup Final 2014.

Their goal scoring and assists records are off the charts. Even though they are both not technically strikers as such. The teams they play for are built around them. In particular, Messi and Barcelona and just look at Portugal and Ronaldo and how he almost guides them single-handedly to victory.

Culturally – they are also huge with Ronaldo having all kinds of clothing wear and Messi promoting all kinds of advertisements. They have completely different personalities and even styles of play. The main thing is that they have dominated soccer around the world. These two players and their intense rivalry has lifted games and also the talk of soccer. People in every country discuss these two players and who is the best is the talk of everyone from Sir Alex Ferguson to the Secret Footballer.

Ballon d’Or 2017: The Big One

Ronaldo 4 Times Ballon d?Or Winners Mug - One Size

But 2017 is the watershed year. The World Cup in 2018 is going to most likely be both player’s final chance of winning the big one. The one they have been missing. After Messi’s disastrous showing in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain, it looks like Ronaldo will win this year’s Ballon d’Or meaning next year – whoever wins the World Cup, will win the Ballon d’Or. And after Portugal proved they could beat the best in Europe, they could be on track for it – providing they come through a difficult qualifying situation.

We have already looked at Lionel Messi’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or 2017. And also Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances.

As we have said previously, and you, the Destination Soccer‘s have stated in the poll for who will win the Ballon d’Or 2017, there is no one other than these two players who you think will realistically win this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Will Lionel Messi win the Ballon d’Or 2017?


Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or

Copyright @ Maxisports DepositPhotos

Lionel Messi had a disappointing year in 2016 compared to what he is used to. A disappointing Champions League defeat to Athletico Madrid meant Barcelona were unable to defend their trophy. They also lost out to Real Madrid in La Liga in 2015/16. Plus, Copa America Centenario he once more lost out on penalties to Chile. At the same time Ronaldo won all three – La Liga, the Champions League and Euro 2016 – the equivalent to the Copa America.

If we look at the pure statistics for Messi and Ronaldo in 2016, the whole calendar year (as shown on, we have Messi scoring 59 goals and 31 assists in 62 appearances for club and country. Meanwhile, Ronaldo scored 55 goals and 17 assists in 57 appearances. Messi created far more goals than Ronaldo but their goal scoring rates were similar.

The difference is at country level in 2016 – Ronaldo had 13 goals in 13 games including 3 assists for Portugal, with only 8 goals in 11 games for Argentina for Messi. he did have 6 assists. Something of a pattern in 2016, Messi was able to keep scoring at a high rate but also was able to provide many more assists than Ronaldo could, even when you equalize the number of games they played.

However, even with slightly better averages, Messi was thrashed by Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or 2016 voting. Ronaldo received 745 points in the voting compared to just 316 points for Messi. Griezmann was left in the dust at 198 points.

What about Messi’s chances for winning the Ballon d’Or in 2017?

So far, at the start of February, there is a similar pattern. Messi has played 9 games for Barcelona, scoring 7 times and creating 3 goals. He is ahead of Ronaldo who has scored 4 goals and has 1 assist in 6 games. So if you averaged this out to the same number of games, Messi would be slightly ahead at this stage, especially with the assists. Based on 2016, we would expect the assists to be higher for Messi.

However, as we have also seen, just having better statistical figures does not mean you will win the Ballon d’Or. You have got to win trophies.

So, where do we stand currently?

Messi – 2017 Updated Edition: More Than a Superstar

La Liga is the current thing to consider. Real Madrid really are in the driver’s seat. After playing 19 games, they are at 46 points. Barcelona have already played 20 games meaning they are 4 points behind with 42 points. If Real Madrid win their game in hand, then they will surely be at 7 points very difficult to catch up. Barca would need to win El Clasico in Madrid to have a chance of catching up. And Sevilla are on the same number of points as Barcelona, so it is not even sure if Barcelona will finish second.

The Champions League

On Valentines Day 2017, Barcelona face a tough fixture away to Paris Saint-Germain who themselves are desperate to win this trophy. Real Madrid have a difficult but surely slightly easier tie against Napoli who no longer have the former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Now, yes, Lionel Messi is the current top scorer in the 2016/17 Champions League before this round of matches – the Round of 16. But if they don’t at least reach the Final, that will count for nothing.

The one thing in their favor is that it is very rare for a team to reach two consecutive Champions League Finals. Only Bayern Munich have done that in recent years. But that was because of the bitter defeat at home to Chelsea driving them on. So, there is a chance that Real Madrid will not win this year. But with Pep Guardiola in charge of Manchester City and Juventus as strong as ever, nothing can be guaranteed for Barca.

However, this looks like being the best bet for Messi to win a major trophy which would put him on track for the Ballon d’Or this year.

International Games

The focus for Messi and Ronaldo this year is in making sure their countries reach the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Now, Ronaldo’s Portugal is in second place in their European Group B qualifying group. Switzerland are 3 points ahead. If Portugal do not qualify in the top position, there is the lottery of the play-offs. There is the real danger they could end up playing the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain or Italy and having to beat them over two legs to qualify.

Argentina are currently only fifth in the South America Qualifying Group. On the bright side, it did look really bad before they managed to beat Colombia at home – with Messi delivering a Captain’s performance to get the victory.

They need to make sure they are in the top 4 positions. They are only one point behind the joint 3rd and 4th place teams – Ecuador and Chile who are on 20 points each after 12 games, with Argentina on 19 points after 12 games. Even if they finished 5th, Argentina would have an easy play-off against an Oceania team (most likely New Zealand).

But, Messi and company will most likely qualify. Surely, Ronaldo’s European Champions will also be in the World Cup? Most likely but we can’t be sure.

Ronaldo’s Extra Opportunity

Ronaldo has an ace up his sleeve. The Confederations Cup 2017 to be played in the summer of 2017 in Russia. This tournament is for the host nation and the winners of the previous World Cup as well as the winners of the regional competitions – i.e. Ronaldo and Portugal but not Messi and Argentina.

If Ronaldo wins this trophy, it could put him in pole position for the Ballon d’Or. It will certainly dominate this summer’s football coverage. And be fresh in people’s minds when it comes to the next season 2017/18.

Overall – Messi’s Chances of Winning the Ballon d’Or in 2017

Jigsaw 1000 pieces Puzzle of Messi-With-The-Ballon-Dor- by Maria's Decor

Messi (as well as Ronaldo) needs to avoid injury, keep up his scoring rate especially in the Champions League and win that trophy. Make sure that Argentina qualifies for the World Cup and start the next season 2017/18 with a bang for Barcelona. All the while keeping up his incredible scoring record and assists record to make sure he wins the Ballon d’Or 2017. If he doesn’t, Ronaldo will win his fifth trophy and catch up with Messi.

Now, the bookmakers believe that Messi will win the Ballon d’Or. They have Messi at 1/1 or 2 meaning that you would get your money back and that’s it. Ronaldo is not far behind at 7/4 or 2.75. The next people Neymar and Suarez are miles behind at 8 or  around 6/1.

What do you think? Will Messi win the Ballon d’Or 2017? Please put your comments below and let’s find out.

Hoodie Its About to Get Messi Adult Charcoal Grey Small

Ballon d’Or 2017 Winner: Messi or Ronaldo?


Messi v Ronaldo: Ballon d'or 2017

Who will win the Ballon d’or 2017?

The biggest rivalry in football is back – Messi v Ronaldo and in particular, for the Ballon d’Or – the World’s Greatest Player. As we enter the 2016/17 season, Ronaldo once more takes on Messi for the Ballon d’Or. Yes of course, there are other potential players who could win the Ballon d’Or such as Luis Suarez, Neymar, Antoine Griezmann, even Gonzalo Higuain.

Here at Destination Soccer, we have even outlined 10 potential Ballon d’Or winners for you.

However, we all know the real and only contest is between Messi v Ronaldo. It is basically the old order who will win. Sure, Neymar is for example seen as a potential future Ballon d’Or winner – by Messi no less. But his time is in the future. And, as we looked at last year, Messi was the favorite.

But, who will win the Ballon d’Or 2017? (By Ballon d’Or 2017 we are technically referring to the Ballon d’Or 2016 as it is for the Calendar Year 2016 but awarded in January 2017 in Zurich).

The Case for Lionel Messi winning the Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or

Copyright @ Maxisports DepositPhotos

In January 2016, Lionel Messi picked up his unprecedented fifth Ballon d’Or award. The most in history and surely making him the greatest player of all time?

Later in the year, Messi had some notable achievements with the incredible Barcelona team including winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey – doing the double in Spain. A fantastic achievement.

He also has performed exceptionally in his partnership with Suarez and Neymar for the Catalans.

His Argentinian national team which he captained in 2016 is ranked No.1 in the world in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Cup Rankings. And, he led Argentina to the Final of the Copa America Centenario. Argentina’s third Final in three consecutive years.

In 2016, upto the 11th of August, Messi scored 28 goals with 18 assists in just 31 appearances for Barcelona – that is simply unheard of. And for Argentina, he played 8 times in 2016, including scoring 6 goals in total and providing 5 assists. (Remember, the Ballon d’Or is only awarded for performance within a calendar year between November 2015 and November 2016. So, it cuts across two seasons).

Barcelona did win the FIFA Club World Cup in 2015 so this is also counted into the favor of Messi in winning.

The Case Against Messi winning the Ballon d’Or

Okay. Now let’s get down to it. Messi and his teams unfortunately had some notable failures. They lost to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, thereby giving Ronaldo a huge advantage in the Ballon d’Or by allowing him to win the most prestigious Competition after the World Cup. The Champions League.

And again his Argentinian team failed to win the Copa America – again. With Messi himself missing a penalty in the shoot-out. This allowed Ronaldo further advantage as for the first time, both players played in their regional national team tournament. The difference of course, is that Ronaldo won the European Championships and scored his penalty during one of the shoot-outs in that tournament.

So, Ronaldo has powered ahead with big trophies. And he did this yet again in August 2016, winning the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla. And, Ronaldo has yet another chance to destroy Messi in the trophy winning stakes in 2016 with Real Madrid being entered into the FIFA Club World Cup to be held in Japan in December 2016.

Should Lionel Messi be banned from the Ballon d’Or?

And then we get onto personal behavior of Messi. First of all, he very rashly in our view, quit international football aged 29 despite being in three consecutive Finals with Argentina and having some of the best players in recent years for the Albiceleste. And, especially when they are the best team in the world.

He also relinquished his captaincy. Which of course is a role of responsibility. More cynically when the votes for the Ballon d’Or 2016 are made in October onwards, the Captain of every national team gets to vote. Messi would most likely not have voted for Ronaldo. Who is to say that the new Captain will not decide to vote for Ronaldo? That would then put Messi at a disadvantage. In last year’s Ballon d’Or which Messi himself won in January 2016, Messi voted for Suarez, Neymar and Iniesta in that order (each voter ranks their three best players). Ronaldo in the same period voted Karim Benzema in first place(!),  James Rodriguez and then Gareth Bale.

These are crazy political votes and Messi has lost out on casting a vote against Ronaldo. Even if the new Captain just puts Ronaldo in second or third, this could count against Messi.

But the retirement does not speak of excellent judgment.

Which is where we get onto a killer factor from 2016 which surely sinks Messi’s chances of retaining his FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

I am talking about of course, his criminal conviction in July 2016 for tax fraud in Spain. It came with a 21 month prison sentence which because it was under 2 years means he will not spend any time behind bars. However he has been sentenced and convicted as a criminal.

Now, the FIFA Ballon d’Or rules clearly states the following:

Article 3: The Awards are bestowed according to on-field performance and overall behaviour on and off the pitch.

Does being officially convicted of being a tax fraud not ban Messi from the Award or restrict him because of ‘behaviour off the pitch’? Or at the very least mean he should not be considered so highly.

And also the rash decision to retire from international football and miss the World Cup 2018 in Russia, something which every player dreams of – captaining their country.

He also abandons his country during their tricky World Cup qualification process – the South American qualification process is seen as one of the hardest in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Case for winning the Ballon d’Or

Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or

Copyright @ Maxisports DepositPhotos

Which brings us to Cristiano Ronaldo. Simply, a sensational calendar year. Winning as we have already seen his second Champions League in three years, winning and really leading Portugal to their first ever international trophy – the UEFA European Championship.

And winning the UEFA Super Cup in August 2016.

Plus, his own spectacular scoring record in 2016 with 32 goals and 11 assists in 35 appearances for club and country. 26 goals and 8 assists in 25 appearances for Real Madrid in 2016 upto the 11th August 2016. And 6 goals in 10 appearances with 3 assists in the same time period for Portugal.

Then there is the small matter of PR. With the Ronaldo DVD being released in November 2015, very cleverly the start of the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2016 consideration period, it has brought a new understanding about Ronaldo. We have seen him away from the spotlight and away from being a prima donna, as we get to intimately enter his life and learn about his family and his son.

This negates the worry that people vote for Messi because he is a ‘nice guy’. Many of the world’s national team captains, coaches plus the journalists are likely to have watched this DVD also. Sometimes the personal things can sway votes as much as the technical things.

The Case against Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or

Losing La Liga and Copa del Rey? That is small fry against winning the Champions League and the European Championships.

We can’t really think of a case against Ronaldo losing the Ballon d’Or 2017. Yes, there was the throwing of the journalist’s microphone into the water during Euro 2016.

Conclusion – Winner of Ballon d’Or 2017 – Cristiano Ronaldo

After examining the evidence, it looks very strongly like Cristiano Ronaldo will win his fourth Ballon d’Or in January 2017. Even his competitors agree – Antonine Griezmann believes as of Euro 2016, that Cristiano Ronaldo has already won the Ballon d’Or.

Do you agree with this? Why or why not?