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Messi v 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

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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

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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?

Background

Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or

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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 Messivronaldo.net), 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?

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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?

 

Messi v Ronaldo – From All Angles

Messi v Ronaldo – Who is the Best?

Messi and Ronaldo have won incredible prizes so far

As the fight goes on between Messi and Ronaldo for the next Ballon D’Or, it is time to investigate just how good each player is from every angle possible. Most importantly, who is actually the best? And how do we define what the ‘best’ is?

Let’s review Messi v Ronaldo from the different possibilities.

Messi v Ronaldo: Overall

5 Reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo Edges Out Lionel Messi

5 Reasons why Lionel Messi Edges Out Cristiano Ronaldo

Messi v Ronaldo at International Level

Who is the best at international level?

Who has the best World Cup record?

Who is better at European Championships v Copa Americas?

Messi v Ronaldo at Youth Tournaments

Messi v Ronaldo at Club Level

Who has had the most impact on their respective clubs?

What if Messi played for Real Madrid and Ronaldo played for Barca?

Champions League Performance Reviews

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El Clasico Performance

Messi v Ronaldo Off the Pitch

Who has the best star sign and personality?

Who is the most fashionable?

Who is the best off the pitch?

Messi v Ronaldo: The Best Advertisements

Messi and Ronaldo v Others

Messi v Maradona – Who is the best?

Neymar and Bale v Messi and Ronaldo

Messi v Ronaldo Overall Reviews

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Messi v Ronaldo: 2015 Review

Champions League 2014/15 Overall Review

Ronaldo at Euro 2016

Messi at Copa America Centenario 2016

Messi at Copa America 2015

Messi v Ronaldo – Technical Skills

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Who has the better weaker foot?

Who can play one foot v both feet?

Who is the best at assists?

Messi v Ronaldo: Assist Kings

Who is the best at heading?

Who is the best at headers?

Which is their best positions?

Who is the best at shooting?

Who is the best at free kicks?

Miscellaneous

Ronaldo DVD Image

The Greatness of Lionel Messi

9 Relatively Unknown Facts About Cristiano Ronaldo

9 Relatively Unknown Facts About Lionel Messi

Ronaldo: DVD Soccer Movie Review

Does Messi win more Ballon D’Ors than Ronaldo because he is a ‘nicer guy’?

10 Reasons why it rocks to be Messi or Ronaldo

Messi v Ronaldo Other Comparisons

Who is the better big-match player?

Who is the most popular in the USA?

Messi v Ronaldo: Who does Klinsmann think is the best?

Who does the Secret Footballer say is the best?

Who does FIFA 15 think is the best?

Ronaldo: DVD Soccer Documentary Movie Review

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Rating: 4.5/5 A moving and revealing detailed look into Cristiano Ronaldo‘s world. With never seen before footage and behind the scenes coverage or Ronaldo and his family, you will not think of him the same again

The Driven One

Ronaldo has a reputation in the world. People don’t like him because they think he is too arrogant, vain, selfish and egotistical amongst other things. Whilst Messi is seen as humble, graceful and quiet.

There is even a thought that Messi has won more Ballon D’Or awards because of these kinds of non-football thoughts.

But who exactly is Cristiano Ronaldo? What drives him?

This DVD tries to find out.Made by the same people who made the astonishing Amy movie about Amy Winehouse, this video goes into the same detail this time with a living legend – Cristiano Ronaldo.

It starts with the year 2014 covering everything from the Champions League Final of Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid and covers Ronaldo’s year including the disastrous World Cup in Brazil. (Ronaldo was injured and in hindsight says he wouldn’t have gone. Germany thrashed Portugal 4-0 in their first game).

As it follows his year and takes you into his family, there are then flashbacks with major moments and times in his life. From his signing with Sporting Lisbon aged 12 from his home island in Madeira. To his being welcomed to Real Madrid in a presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in front of 90,000 fans just to see him. There was no game!

His Family

We see the heart-breaking background to his family. His mother admits that Cristiano was an ‘unwanted child’. But now, everything they have is because of him.

His father was an alcoholic who died relatively young due to cirrhosis. His mother says it might have been something to do with having served in a Portugese colonial war and being angry because of that. Roanldo regrets never being able to really connect with his father on a ‘heart’ level because his father was drunk everyday.

You see the difference that Ronaldo therefore has with his own son who he connects with.

The Drive to Be the Best

Of course, the DVD starts with what it is all about. Messi v Ronaldo. The world’s greatest rivalry. We see Messi winning the Ballon D’Or two or three years in a row. And the impact on Ronaldo. It really hurts him. He says out loud that why does he even go there?

Finally when he wins the Ballon D’Or Award in 2014, we see the relief and tears at him doing this. Does Messi really have the same burning ambition to win the Ballon D’Or?

Being the best drives him beyond anything.

The Difficulties of Being a Star

Ronaldo says that he spends most of his time alone. After his training he is at home alone or with his son or family. Because the world is hectic.

We get glimpses of this during his time with the Portugese National Team when the Team Bus and Hotels are besieged, with everyone there just for Ronaldo.

We get to see Ronaldo backstage e.g. before he goes out there to be welcomed at the Bernabeu stadium. And much more.

Summary

An excellent DVD which will show you the hidden side to the world’s best player (Ronaldo will likely win Ballon D’Or 2016!) And hopefully humanize him!

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