There’s no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the worlds best players, and have been for the last few years. Both are mercurial talents whose level of consistency are unbelievable – Messi once scored 94 goals in a calendar year, and this season alone Cristiano has a quite simply ridiculous 18 goals in 10 La Liga games already this season.
In terms of performing at the highest level, they seem to have no equals.
But are we blinded by the numbers? Should the Ballon d’Or go to someone else?
For so long, it seems that the prize only has two possible winners – Messi or Ronaldo. No matter what any other player in the world does, they don’t even come close to winning it.
And is that right?
Ronaldo is 29 years old and Messi is 27. Since 2008 the Ballon d’Or (or FIFA World Player of the Year pre-2010) has gone to one of those two players, and if the current trend continues, then it will be the same old story for the next 5/6 years.
They have already won 6 awards between them.
Have people become lazy in crowning Messi or Ronaldo as the world’s best? Have we all got caught up in the mass hysteria and hype that we can’t even see who else deserves the prize?
In the 1990’s, the winners of the Ballon d’Or (well, FIFA World Player of the Year Award pre-2010) included Lothar Matthaus, Marco Van Basten, Roberto Baggio, Romario, George Weah, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Rivaldo – a wonderful selection of talent.
Then in the 2000’s we had Luis Figo, Ronaldo and Zidane again, Ronaldinho, and Kaka. Ever since then, it’s been the Ronaldo/Messi show.
They are talking about whether it will be Messi or Ronaldo this year but the fact is it’s all become a bit of a joke now. We get they’re exceptional players but surely there must be another professional footballer worthy of the prize?
We all know that nowadays it’s all about money which comes from marketability of Messi and Ronaldo – and with the “allegations” of corruption within FIFA it doesn’t surprise me that it’s always between Messi and Ronaldo. It suits their narrative and FIFA are guilty of not trying to diversify their candidates and push someone else for the prize.
We’re so obsessed with records and these guys are breaking them as the weeks and months go by – but isn’t football about more than that? Players like Zidane, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Van Basten were just magical players – players who could light up a game with a single moment of brilliance. Have we become too focused on statistics?
But you may ask who else should even be considered to be the best player in the world over the last few years?
There are several players who have given more than a few magical moments over the last 6/7 years. How about Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Surely in the last decade he’s been deserving of a Ballon d’Or or FIFA World Player of the Year Award? He’s won a ridiculous amount of domestic titles in Italy, Spain, France and Holland. I won’t bother listing the amount of trophies he’s won or the individual awards he’s accumulated, but for someone of his talent not to even be considered for the award is crazy.
Even last year, Franck Ribery won the treble but still didn’t win the award. I cannot profess to know much about Germany football and readily admit that don’t manage to watch much of Ribery but I’m assuming he was a big part of their successes.
And I’m sure many of you reading this have a better knowledge of European and World football, and can name a string of players who could be classed as World Class footballers.
We all know that either Messi or Ronaldo will win the award again this year (and it’ll be Ronaldo in my opinion) but isn’t it time we gave it to someone else?
There’s such a thing as overkill and this is it tenfold.