Tag Archives: Atlético Madrid

Ballon d’Or/Golden Ball 2018 – Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo (Week #9)

Lionel Messi played two Liga games this week.  In midweek, la Pulga curled another beautiful free kick, away at Las Palmas, but FC Barcelona could not do better than 1-1.  This Sunday, it was a clash between the two best Spanish teams of the moment, at the Camp Nou, the Blaugranas and Atlético de Madrid.  The Catalans came out victorious with a 1-0 win thanks to superb free kick from Lionel Messi.  FC Barcelona is ahead of Atlético by eight points in La Liga and is still unbeaten this season (21 wins, 6 ties after 27 games and has not been beaten in 34 games dating back from last season).

Cristiano Ronaldo did not take part in the defeat of his club against Espanyol in Barcelona, 1-0, but played against Getafe on Saturday, at home, and scored two goals for los Merengues in a 3-1 victory.

Here are the statistics of the two players after Week #9 of the year 2018:

Player Games Goals Assists Trophies won
Lionel Messi 16 13 8 0
Cristiano Ronaldo 10 14 2 0
TOTAL Messi by 6 Ronaldo by 1 Messi by 6 Tie

Stay tuned…

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Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) France Football 2016 – The Case for Lionel Messi

Last week, Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned winner of the Ballon d’Or 2016 (the fourth of his career) ahead of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. While I congratulate the Portuguese winger for his success, I do not agree with the decision and I would like either a reform of the trophy or simply put, a repeal of it. And there are several reasons why.

Earlier this year, France Football (a French football magazine whom created the trophy and distributed it for decades) and FIFA parted ways with the gala and the trophy, which meant full control of the criterias by the magazine and the hope that we would have more winners and more diversity. Well, it seems like France Football picked up exactly where FIFA left off and awarded the Ballon d’Or to a player who is very good, with great statistics, four trophies won, but ultimately was not the best player in 2016, in my opinion.

I even doubt that he was he second best, even third best (Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez could have been in front of him in 2016). I have ranked Lionel Andrès Messi first because of his complete performance (with club and country) from January 1st to the end date of the voting (November 27th). Goals, assists, chances created, trophies won and runner-up, Messi was, once again, in a league of his own.

While CR7 has been very good as mentioned, created his share of chances and won several important trophies during the year, he was also helped by his teammates while struggling to make an impression on the big stage (UEFA Champions League and European Championship finals) or being absent (UEFA SuperCup). Real Madrid CF won the Champions League final against Atlético Madrid FC on penalties where Ronaldo was invisible the whole game. He eventually dispatched of the winning penalty (only Juanfran from Atlético missed his during the penalty kicks).

Ronaldo didn’t have a great European Championship, missing several scoring chances, missing an important penalty versus Iceland if I recall with his country barely qualifying for the round of 16 in a group where they were largely favourites to win and featuring a mere twenty minutes in the final. His attitude during the whole tournament was unworthy of a “superstar” like him as well. The man of the tournament was French striker Antoine Griezmann.

Lionel Messi won the domestic double (LaLiga BBVA and the Spanish Cup). He was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Atlético de Madrid FC in the UEFA Champions League, but led Argentina to the Copa America Centenario final lost on penalties to Chile for the second year in a row. Messi, having a superb tournament, missed his penalty kick during the shootout session.

In his return to Europe, him and FC Barcelona lifted the Spanish SuperCup versus Sevilla FC, adding a third domestic trophy to his cabinet for the year. His statistics were excellent through the year as you can regularly see in my blog. He outscored, “outassisted” by 16 assists, Cristiano Ronaldo. He created more chances and showed (as usual) more team spirit and more engagement than the Portuguese international.

All this leads me to ask…what is the Ballon d’Or’s purpose? Do we reward the best player of the calendar year? Of the season? Is it a popularity contest? Do we simply attribute the trophy based on winning the FIFA World Cup, Champions League and/or the European Championship despite not being the best player of the tournament or even the team (Nani, Pepe, a Champions League winner as well this year, Ricardo Quaresma, Rui Patricio and others were excellent and clutch during the tournament for La Seleção and let’s not forget Lille player Eder who put the nail in the coffin to clinch the title)?

Last, but not least, it may not be a good idea to hand out a trophy right in the middle of a season. After all, trophies are given at the end generally.

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or France Football) – Week 49

The Ballon d’Or France Football will be awarded tomorrow in annual gala by football magazine France Football who re-gained the rights to the trophy thanks to their disassociation with FIFA earlier this year. The three favourites, not finalists, for the trophy are FC Barcelona/Argentina player Lionel Messi (the holder and record five-time winner), Real Madrid CF/Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo (three-time winner and favourite to win it this year) and Atlético de Madrid FC/French international striker Antoine Griezmann (first-time finalist).

Here are the updated statistics between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo including this weekend’s action which saw La Pulga increase his goal tally by two goals in a win at Osasuna (3-0), while the Portuguese winger was rested by Zinedine Zidane against Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña in a last-minute victory by Los Merengues/Blancos.

L. Messi 61 games 58 goals 32 assists 3 trophies won
– La Liga BBVA
– La Copa del Rey
– Spanish Supercup
C. Ronaldo 55 games 51 goals 17 assists 3 trophies won
– UEFA Champions League
– UEFA European Championship
– UEFA SuperCup
Total Messi 6 games Messi 7 goals Messi 15 assists Tie

The Ballon d’Or France Football will need to be reformed in order to gain more credibility, in my opinion. Lionel Messi should win tomorrow based on many factors that point in his favour, but Cristiano Ronaldo will lift the trophy. And that is the problem with the current format with or without FIFA involved.

Stay tuned…

2016-17 Champions League Group Stage – Wrap-Up

We have the sixteen teams that will face-off next February for the round of 16.

Winner of each group:
Arsenal FC (England)
AS Monaco (France)
Atlético de Madrid FC (Spain)
Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
FC Barcelona (Spain)
Juventus FC (Italy)
Leicester City FC (England)
SSC Napoli (Italy)

Second of each group:

Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
Benfica (Portugal)
FC Bayern Munich (Germany)
FC Porto (Portugal)
Manchester City FC (England)
Paris Saint-Germain FC (France)
Real Madrid CF (Spain)
Sevilla FC (Spain)

Four teams from Spain.
Three teams from England and Germany.
Two teams from France, Italy and Portugal.
Sixteen teams in total.

The draw for the next round will take place this week after the UEFA Europa League games. Until then, Real Madrid CF will play the FIFA Club World Cup thanks to their success against Atlético de Madrid FC in the UEFA Champions League last May.

Will Real Madrid CF finally break the curse and become the first club to win back-to-back titles? Can FC Barcelona or FC Bayern Munich win their sixth Champions League title? Or will we have a brand new champion? Can Leicester City FC even do it? The answer in May 2017.

Stay tuned…

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 22

This is it. The end of the season has arrived with the Champions League final at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza behind us. Real Madrid CF won their record 11th European Cup title thanks to a penalty shootout versus local and arch-rivals, Club Atlético de Madrid (1-1. 5-3 after extra time). Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty kick, but was invisible for most of the game and was kept off the scoresheet on that one. He adds another Champions League winning medal, his third (one with Manchester United FC and two with Real Madrid CF).

As for Lionel Messi, the Argentine captain and his teammates prepare themselves for la Copa America Centenario due to begin one June 03rd. La Albiceleste played and won a friendly match against Honduras, 1-0, with a superb goal from SSC Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain. Messi was kept off the scoresheet and left the game with what appeared to be a lower-back injury.

Here are the stats from January 01st to May 30th, 2016 between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

L. Messi 34 games 29 goals 18 assists 2 trophies won
C. Ronaldo 27 games 27 goals 8 assists 1 trophy won
Total Messi 7 games Messi 2 goals Messi 10 assists Messi 1 trophy

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 21

With the end of the season behind us, Lionel Messi was the only player busy this week with the Spanish King’ Cup final (la Copa del Rey). FC Barcelona played Sevilla FC, who were just recently crowned Europa League champions for the third year in a row. Despite that, the Catalans giants made sure that they were the only Spanish team to win two trophies this year with a 2-0 victory over their rival from Andalusia. Lionel Messi was on target with two assists.The Argentine international wins his second title in 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his team were off this week and will play the last game of this season against Atlético Madrid for the UEFA Champions League trophy, this Saturday, at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) in Milan, Italy.

The statistics so far from January 01st to May 22th, 2016 are the following between the two biggest stars of football:

L. Messi 33 games 29 goals 18 assists 0trophy available
C. Ronaldo 26 games 27 goals 8 assists 1 trophy available
Total Messi 7 games Messi 2 goals Messi 10 assists Messi 2 trophies won

Stay tuned…

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 19

This week was the penultimate game of the season in La Liga BBVA and the title is still up for grab. One team, Atlético Madrid, has been eliminated of the race because of a 2-1 last-minute loss to relegated team Levante.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid CF held on to a 3-2 win at home against a tedious Valencia CF side and kept their hopes of being champions alive.

FC Barcelona trashed their local rivals, Espanyol, 5-0 and avoided the same fate that occurred during the 2006-07 season when, at the same period of the season, Los Blaugranas settled for a tie against the same opponent and handed the title to their arch-rival.

Champions League football was also on the agenda, earlier last week, with Real Madrid winning 1-0 at home against a lacklustre Manchester City FC in the 2nd leg of the semifinal. Cristiano Ronaldo was not involved on the scoresheet.

In La Liga BBVA, Lionel Messi scored 1 goal and 1 assist. Ronaldo added 2 goals to his tally.

For this week, the statistics are the following between the Argentine and the Portuguese international for 2016:

L. Messi 31 games 29 goals 16 assists 2 trophies available
C. Ronaldo 25 games 25 goals 8 assists 2 trophies available
Total Messi 6 games Messi 4 goals Messi 8 assists Tie

Stay tuned…