Tag Archives: Golden Ball

Ballon d’or/Golden Ball 2017 – Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo (Week 23)

The season 2016-17 is officially over with Real Madrid CF lifting the Champions League trophy for a second year in a row.  Cristiano Ronaldo added to his yearly tally with two goals during this final and leapfrogged Lionel Messi as the best scorer of this season’s edition of the Champions League with 12 goals.

Both players were also on international duty last week with Ronaldo scoring a brace to lead Portugal to a 3-0 win versus Latvia in UEFA World Cup qualifier while Messi was kept off the score-sheet during a friendly match won by Argentina versus arch-rivals Brazil in Melbourne, Australia.

After 23 weeks into 2017, the statistics between the two giants of football look like this and Ronaldo is coming back:

Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo
Games 34 30
Goals 32 31
Assists 8 7
Trophies 2
(Copa del Rey, European Golden Shoe)
2
(La Liga Santander, UEFA Champions League)
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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…

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 20

This is it.

La Liga BBVA was decided on the final day of the season and it is FC Barcelona, as usual in recent years, who were crowned Spanish champions thanks to a 3-0 win at Granada, with “El Pistolero” Luis Suarez on target with a hat-trick. The Uruguayan international has, by the same toaken, won the “pichichi”, La Liga’s top scorer award for the season 2015-16, and also the European Golden Boot. A fantastic season for the former Ajax and Liverpool hitman.

Lionel Messi was kept off the scoresheet during this match, but wins another medal to his already large collection.

Real Madrid CF, who will play their local rivals in the Champions League final on May 28th, for the second time in three years, has given Los Blaugranas a run for their money up until the end but it was not going to be, despite a 2-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna thanks to a brace by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here are the statistics for both players from January 01st to May 16th, 2016:

L. Messi 32 games 29 goals 16 assists 1 trophy available
C. Ronaldo 26 games 27 goals 8 assists 1 trophy available
Total Messi 6 games Messi 2 goals Messi 8 assists Messi 1 trophy won

Lionel Messi has one more game to play this season for his club and it is the Spanish Cup final versus Sevilla FC at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, Atlético Madrid’s home, while Cristiano Ronaldo will have a chance to collect a third Champions League medal the following week.

Stay tuned.

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) Week 18

While the race for La Liga BBVA title is heating up with the top three teams (FC Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid CF) winning their respective games, the race between the two best players of the last decade also continues with a week of two games for Cristiano Ronaldo who could not feature in either of them because injury while Lionel Messi, out of the Champions League with FC Barcelona, had to play only one game in which he provided two magnificent assists. After Week 18 in 2016, the statistics are the following:

L. Messi 30 games 28 goals 15 assists 2 trophies available
C. Ronaldo 23 games 23 goals 8 assists 2 trophies available
Total Messi 7 games Messi 5 goals Messi 7 assists Tie

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball / Ballon d’Or 2016) – Week 17

Another week and two games in La Liga BBVA except for the Portuguese international who is currently on the sideline with a thigh injury and is a doubt for this week’s match vs. Manchester City FC, at the Etihad Stadium, in their first leg of the Champions League semifinal.

Lionel Messi took advantage. The table below will tell us where each of them currently stands:

From January 1st to April 24th, 2016 (in all competitions, friendlies included):

L. Messi 28 games 28 goals 13 assists 2 trophies available
C. Ronaldo 23 games 23 goals 8 assists 2 trophies available
Total Messi 5 games Messi 5 goals Messi 5 assists Tie