He might be in the final three, but Cristiano Ronaldo is still a 40/1 outsider to win the Ballon d’Or on Monday evening. Alex Chick suggests that those odds are unfairly long.
I won’t lie – making a case for Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or is a tough ask, but here goes.
Ronaldo went trophyless in 2015, with his club stumbling their way through three managers. His future at Real Madrid hangs in the balance, while Barcelona have relentlessly hoovered up every trophy going.
Who should win the 2015 Ballon d’Or?
So it’s just as well that none of this has anything to do with the Ballon d’Or.
FIFA’s little-discussed Rules of Allocation make it clear that team success is irrelevant.
” The Awards reward the best in each category, without distinction of championship or nationality, for their respective achievements during the period 22 November 2014 to 20 November 2015 inclusive. The Awards are bestowed according to on-field performance and overall behaviour on and off the pitch.”
So we can forget about Real’s miserable year and focus instead on Ronaldo, who continues to score goals at an inhuman rate.on December 8, 2015 – AFP
Last season Ronaldo scored 66 goals in 58 games for club and country. This season he has ‘only’ 25 in 26 – still pretty remarkable given the chaos engulfing Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has made the impossible seem normal – this much was clear in October when he broke Raul’s all-time Real Madrid scoring record in October.
Ronaldo reached 324 goals in 310 matches – just the 441 games fewer than Raul took to tally 323.
It was pointed out that Ronaldo could fail to score in every Real Madrid match until some time in 2024 and still have a better goals-per-game ratio than Raul.
Messi has scored a fairly pedestrian 15 in 20 this season, but it’s what happened when he was injured in autumn that does the most damage to his case. During his eight-week absence, Barcelona won all but one of the matches played with a full-strength side and Neymar and Luis Suarez combined to score 19 consecutive goals.
Messi is no longer indispensable. He is one part of a trident of brilliant attackers, each as important as the next. That makes Barcelona just about the most formidable team ever to lace up boots – but does it make Messi or Neymar Ballon d’Or material? No.
But what about the “overall behaviour on and off the pitch”? Don’t Barcelona’s lovely polite boys deserve recognition ahead of a pouting, gesticulating Ronaldo?
Well… on the pitch, maybe. But off it?
Messi was ordered to appear in court as his father is accused of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of over €4m. Both men deny wrongdoing.
Neymar, meanwhile, had his assets frozen by a Brazilian court over allegations of tax evasion, which he denies.
While the Barcelona stars must of course be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, 2015 was hardly a PR triumph for either of them.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, enjoyed the triumphant release of his film. Self-regarding? Of course. But the film showed the player’s sweet relationship with his son, Cristiano Jr (natch) and a very healthy respect for his great rival Messi.
Ronaldo concedes in the film that Messi will win the 2015 Ballon d’Or – but if he does, it will be because the voters failed to read the instructions.