Written by David Robinson
Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed his fourth ballon d’or after winning the accolade for 2016. The Portuguese forward has had a fantastic year winning the Champions League and Euro 2016 with Real Madrid and Portugal respectively. But since when did this determine that he was the best player of 2016? The term ‘best player’ being the key, as in the player that showed the most ability. That certainly wasn’t Ronaldo, unfortunately in my opinion there is only one winner when it comes to the king of football, however Lionel Messi’s irresistible ability has somehow gone unrewarded in 2016.
credit Ludovic Peron
The obvious argument for Ronaldo winning is his club and country’s success. Being part of those team’s has helped with ‘team’ being the operative word. The 31 year old contributed the winning penalty in the Champions League final but that was about it while a moth landing on Portugal’s main man was his Euro 2016 final highlight. Throughout Euro 2016 Ronaldo did what he does best, score. His overall performances were ordinary to say the least but as ever he popped up with the goals, something you can’t argue with, his sublime ability to adapt is something that has to be admired. By the same logic that Ronaldo has won because of his team’s achievements, Portugal and Real Madrid centre back Pepe finished ninth which only makes my question that there must be further reasons for the awarding of the ballon d’or…
It seems statistics are always a strong argument when trying to get the better of Messi, something Ronaldo’s game in my opinion seems to be purely based on. While it’s obviously not quite that straight forward because Ronaldo of course is a sublime player, his 2016 stats don’t even outweigh the Argentine magician. Messi has 58 goals and 32 assists in 61 appearances for club and country while Ronaldo has 51 goals and 17 assists in 55 appearances so based on this alone that does not give Ronaldo the edge, so where has he got it from to claim this award…?
It certainly can’t come from his overall contributions in comparison to Messi’s. The Barcelona star for me is the best player in the world but also I think with a margin over his nearest competitors. His ability to open the game up from all angles, link play with his team mates and pose a constant threat for the team outshines Cristiano’s predatory incision. While admittedly I’m not a weekly viewer of both, I really do struggle to remember a time where Ronaldo has been the complete star of a match, rather than just scoring important goals. Messi against the English sides has demonstrated too everyone in the country what he can do, destroying Manchester City at Camp Nou this season as a gentle reminder.
So it really is straight forward, Ronaldo has not outdone Messi in terms of statistical efficiency, he has not outshone him in terms of overall performance so I fail to see how the accolade for the best player has not gone to the best player, Lionel Messi!
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below!