Notice: Undefined index: F1l3 in /home/alcoholf/public_html/destinationsoccer.com/wp-includes/rest-api/class-wp-rest-response.php on line 2
Cristiano Ronaldo

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

Background

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

[amazon template=image&chan=destination soccer&asin=1785780557]

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

[amazon template=image&chan=destination soccer&asin=B01MR4YIHM]

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.

Ballon d’Or 2017 Winner: Messi or Ronaldo?

Background

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?

 

Cristiano Ronaldo: The World At His Feet: Soccer DVD Documentary Review

Cristiano Ronaldo World at his Feet Big

Rating: 4.5/5 Moving, emotional, fast-paced documentary which shows you Ronaldo from all sides – good and bad. A must watch
Background

Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016 is on fire. Already having won the Champions League in 2016 including scoring the winning penalty, he won Euro 2016 with some superb performances and goals including a spectacular back heeled goal against Hungary and a salmon like leap to head in a goal in the semi-final against Wales. Ronaldo is by far the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or for 2016.

But, let’s take a step back and really examine Ronaldo. First of all on a side note, this film was made in or for 2014, and Ronaldo is still lighting the world up two years later. Whilst that may seem obvious to us, doing so is not easy and that already shows his class. Just think of Kaka, winner of the 2007 Ballon d’Or and how he faded away. Or Ronaldinho who won the Ballon d’Or the year before him and also never really reached the same levels. So Ronaldo definitely has the Obsession for Perfection.

Coming from poverty

We have already reviewed the really excellent Ronaldo DVD . That DVD is like the Amy DVD which was based on the life of Amy Winehouse or Senna after Ayrton Senna, the racing driver. In the Ronaldo DVD, we basically are with Ronaldo and his family almost all the time, with no narration or commentary from others. It is like being there and being a part of his family.

This DVD is narrated by the world famous actor Benedict Cumberbatch. He has appeared in the BBC TV Series Sherlock and in a Star Trek movie as well as playing Hamlet amongst many other roles. He brings a really good approach and we actually forget about him and focus on the subject Ronaldo.

This movie rounds out the other one. We start by learning of his upbringing in poverty which was not really explained in the other film. We are talking real poverty in Madeira. Ronaldo and his family lived in a tin shack where the roof would leak. Ronaldo the youngest child had to share and live in one room with his three siblings.

[amazon template=image&chan=destination soccer&asin=B015N8JKKO]

We also learn how alone he was and which was shown in the Ronaldo film. Basically he has spent a lot of his life alone and isolated. In Madeira he had few friends except for a football he found abandoned in an alleyway. This ‘friend’ was what he practiced with everyday often missing meals and sometimes school. Playing against a wall.

At the age of 12 he moved to Lisbon to play for Sporting Lisbon, 600 miles away from home. He was bullied by a lot of people according to the film because of his Madeiran accent. He got so angry after a while that at aged 14, he threw a chair at someone and was expelled.

And we find out he had a heart condition which he needed to be operated on aged only 15.

His rise to stardom

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdYysN7pffU” title=”Cristiano%20Ronaldo%20World%20at%20His%20Feet%20Trailer”]

We then see probably what a lot of people are familiar with. The friendly between Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United which led to Sir Alex Ferguson signing him aged 17. And how Arsene Wenger thought he had Ronaldo!

We see how Ferguson managed him and the pressure of the infamous 2006 World Cup wink when Ronaldo played a part in getting his team mate Wayne Rooney sent off.

Another Side of Ronaldo

Some of the most heart-wrenching parts of this film come from the many moments of philanthrophy and generosity from Ronaldo. From paying for the education of the little boy who survived the tsunami of 2004 whilst wearing a Ronaldo shirt to writing to a Floridian judge to ask for him to not pursue criminal charges against the young pitch invader who hugged Ronaldo. And other things such as when a family asked Ronaldo for a shirt and signed shoes for them to auction to raise money for an operation for their sick child. Ronaldo paid for the whole operation himself.

And many other sides to him. Such as his star sign of Aquarius wanting to be in the limelight and be seen. His selection of cars is examined. And his fashion sense and how it has matured including his own fashion line.

[amazon template=image&chan=destination soccer&asin=B01ALO5JR8]

He is apparently the most Googled athlete in the world. And the most divisive. We examine his selection of cars.

A DVD worth watching

This DVD which was put together with stock footage and interviews with many unfamiliar places actually works really well with the excellent narration and direction. You will see Ronaldo in ways you have never seen him before and will be moved. They also don’t skimp on the negative views of him. There are agonies such as World Cup 2014 and the ecstasies including finally beating Messi for the Ballon d’Or. Go out of your way to watch this.

[amazon template=add to cart&chan=destination soccer]

Visit the Destination Soccer Cristiano Ronaldo Shop

Has Cristiano Ronaldo already sealed the Ballon d’Or 2017?

Background – Messi v Ronaldo v Suarez for the Ballon d’Or
Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or

Copyright @ jenta DepositPhotos

It’s crazy how things work out.

As the league seasons wrapped up in the summer of 2016 and teams across Europe and South America began their Continental Championships, the focus was trained on some of the biggest names in the game. The year’s three leading Ballon d’or hopefuls were all in action. Lionel Messi was leading the Argentina national team, Cristiano Ronaldo was the skipper of the Portugal national team, while Luis Suarez was expected to be in his elements for the Uruguay national team.

No one would have expected that of these three players Ronaldo would be the one walking home from the international tournament with a winners’ medal around his neck.

Injuries affect the Big 3

But the tournament started with bad news for Suarez as he had to miss the group stage games due to an injury he suffered in the final of the Copa del Rey. It eventually ensured that Uruguay’s talisman would come home from the tournament without playing a single minute.

Messi, too, missed the opening game for his team, but then he returned in the second game with a hat-trick against Panama. The quarter-final yielded another goal for La Albiceleste captain as his team dumped Venezuela with a 4-1 thrashing. Messi scored one of the goals of the tournament with a splendid free-kick against the hosts United States.

However, it was a case of another dry match for Messi in the final as his team failed to score in the final against Chile and lost in the penalty shootout. To compound the Barcelona star’s misery, he missed the first spot kick for his side as they settled for another runners-up medal.

Ronaldo: From Zero to Hero at Euro 2016

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KnojPOscnM” title=”Cristiano%20Ronaldo%20Goals%20for%20Portugal%202016″]

Ronaldo also endured a difficult start to his Euro 2016 campaign as he failed to get on the scoresheet in the first two group stage games against Iceland and Austria.

However, with his team facing elimination against Hungary, the Portugal captain rose to the occasion and chipped in with a brace and an assist to help his team secure a 3-3 draw and with it a place in the knockout stage of the tournament.

It was a rebound off a Ronaldo shot that Ricardo Quaresma turned in against Croatia to help secure Portugal’s progress to the last eight and there the Real Madrid star led from the front as he scored the opening penalty kick against Poland to give his team the advantage in the shootout. The Portuguese eventually prevailed with a 5-3 triumph.

Ronaldo was decisive in the semi-final win over Wales as he contributed a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win. However, he couldn’t make much of an impact in the final against France owing to his injury early in the game that saw him stretchered off.

A late Eder goal secured a memorable 1-0 win for Portugal and helped Ronaldo secure his first major international honor.

Cristiano Ronaldo – a dead cert to win Ballon d’Or 2016

[amazon template=image&chan=destination soccer&asin=B01G7M7UMK]

And significantly, Ronaldo’s stellar performances – and also the failures of his Messi and Suarez this summer – appear to have confirmed him to be the next year’s Ballon d’Or winner.

Surely Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be beaten for the Ballon d’Or. Already in 2016, he has won the Champion’s League including scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out, he has won Euro 2016 including scoring three goals in the Finals and getting to 9 goals in total – the same as the talismanic Michel Platini. And 6 goals in 10 games in total so far for Portugal this year. Some of the goals were astonishing – the back heel goal against Hungary and the sensational Michael Jordan style leap to head in against Wales in the semi-final. Only a brutal foul by Payet in the Final of Euro 2016 stopped Ronaldo from scoring more goals.

Another Ballon d’Or contestant Griezmann, who enjoyed a superb Euro 2016 campaign and finished the tournament as the top goalscorer as well as the Golden Ball has endorsed Ronaldo for the best player gong, saying that the Portuguese has won two big trophies this year – the Champions League and the Euro 2016. And Griezmann lost to Ronaldo twice – both in the Champions League Final and in the Final of Euro 2016.

And both you the Destination Soccer readers believe this to be the case with 45% of you from almost 200 votes going for Ronaldo winning. The bookmakers also have Ronaldo as the heavy favorite with Lionel Messi a long way behind at 5/1. That is a crazy rating for a five time Ballon d’Or winner. As long as Ronaldo keeps scoring at his regular rate in the second half of 2016, you will be seeing more photos like this framed one – a rare photograph of a smiling Cristiano Ronaldo:

[amazon template=image&chan=destination soccer&asin=B01AY7L9V2]

Follow the full Destination Soccer Ballon d’Or Coverage

Ballon d’Or 2016 Winner: Messi or Ronaldo?

Who will win Balon D’Or 2016 – Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

Messi and Ronaldo have won incredible prizes so far

For the last seven years the greatest individual honor in soccer has been shared between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. With the Barcelona stalwart claiming the gong on four occasions to Real Madrid talisman’s three. And barring any major breakthrough from a player, apart from these two giants of the modern game in the remainder of 2015, they are odds-on favorites to be leading candidates for the Ballon d’Or 2016.

Yes, there have been some defenders who have won the Ballon D’Or in the past However, it is the attacking players who mostly win this. And who else apart from Messi and Ronaldo can realistically win the Ballon D’Or 2016?

Both the players have enjoyed stellar 2015/16 campaigns with their respective clubs thus far. As of 2015, Ronaldo has 3 Ballon D’Ors to Messi’s 4. These are phenomenal figures for any player. If Messi wins in 2016, surely he would have to be recognised as the greatest of all time? Greater than Pele?

As expected, Messi and Ronaldo were the star names amongst the announced 2016 Ballon D’Or voting list. We have documented the voting process for the Ballon D’Or.

Messi was instrumental in Barcelona’s charge for the treble. His 58 goals and 28 assists from 57 games in all competitions thus far have helped the Catalan giants clinch the La Liga title. Barcelona also became the first European club to win the historic treble twice by winning the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, was equally devastating with his attacking displays. In his 54 appearances in all competitions, the Portuguese has scored an astonishing 61 goals and has provided his team-mates with 22 assists. His performances were a key factor in guiding Los Blancos to the semi-finals of the Champions League and keeping them hot on the heels of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

There was not much to choose in their individual displays. Where Messi was directly involved in 80 of his team’s goals in his 50 matches – a figure of 1.6 goal or assist/game (GAPG), Ronaldo has been involved in 74 in 49 games which give a figure of 1.51 GAPG. A marginal difference.

After a relatively slow start, compared to his usual high standards, Messi sprang to life since the turn of the year – especially after that fateful 1-0 loss to David Moyes’ Real Sociedad at the Anoeta, where Luis Enrique had decided to bench Messi for the first half of the game. It is quite astonishing that up to that match, Messi was 12 goals behind Ronaldo in the race for Pichichi that difference is now down to two goals.

Conversely, Ronaldo enjoyed a prolific start to the season, scoring a flurry of hat-tricks both in the Champions League as well as La Liga. But at the turn of the year, he hit a bit of a rough patch. However, he is back among the goals at the decisive juncture in the season.

[gfycat data_id=”CheeryComposedAngora”]

It is difficult to say how much of a role does team honors play when the captains and managers of their respective national teams vote for the player they think had the best year.

However, with such identical figures between Messi and Ronaldo the decision would be made, in my opinion, either upon the aesthetics of the two players or the number/significance of the team honors that the two players end the season with.

Last season both Barcelona and Real Madrid were fighting hard in the two most important tournaments – the Champions League and the league title.

The Catalans have won most of the major silverwares in 2015, while Ronaldo has only the Club World Cup winner’s medal to show for his efforts.

However, there is one potential ace up Messi’s sleeve that Ronaldo doesn’t – the Copa America.  So, Messi has won the Champion’s League in 2015. Plus he has reached the final of the Copa America 2015, where Argentina only lost on penalties. And of course, there is the treble of 2014/15 – La Liga, Copa Del Rey and of course the UEFA Champions League.

Plus, if Messi can return from his injury in time, he could win the Club World Cup in Japan in December 2015. This would surely give him an unbeatable sense of momentum going into the voting for the Balon D’Or 2016. Does Ronaldo even stand a chance after his lack of silverware in 2015? Oh, and Messi also won the UEFA Super Cup in August 2015 being named man of the match in the victory against Sevilla.

http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/article9047050.ece/alternates/w620/2013MESSIBALLON.jpg

Who do you think will win Ballon D’Or 2016? Please post your comment below.