Tag Archives: Luis Suarez

Ballon d’Or/Golden Ball 2018 – Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo (Week #8)

Une semaine de football chargée pour les deux joueurs favoris pour le Ballon d’Or 2018.

Lionel Messi a goûté à la Ligue des Champions la semaine dernière face à Chelsea FC, à Stamford Bridge, le brillant petit lutin a marqué le seul but de son club dans un match nhl de 1-1. Samedi, Le FC Barcelone a affronté Girona, dans un derby local, ou ils l’ont emporté par la marque de 6-1 avec deux buts et une passe décisive de Lionel Messi qui continue de régner dans la Liga Santander.  Luis Suarez fut la grande vedette de ce match avec trois buts et deux passes décisives.

De son côté, Cristiano Ronaldo n’a joué qu’une seule partie cette semaine, un match de championnat contre le Deportivo Alavés il a marqué deux buts.  Plus tôt dans la semaine, le Real Madrid avait affronté Leganes, à l’extérieur, et a remporté le match 3-1, mais CR7 avait été laissé de côté pour ce match.

Voici les statistiques des deux joueurs après huit semaines de football en 2018 :

Player Games Goals Assists Trophies won
Lionel Messi 14 11 8 0
Cristiano Ronaldo 9 12 2 0
TOTAL Messi by 5 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) – Week 48

El Clásico is behind us and both teams could not come up as victorious.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring for FC Barcelona while Sergio Ramos, the Real Madrid CF captain, scored at the end of the match. Final result: 1-1.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were kept off the scoresheet. While the voting for the next France Football Ballon d’Or/Golden Ball winner has ended officially on November 27th, 2016, we will still keep the calendar year statistics going until the end.

Both superstars’ statistics until today are the following for 2016:

L. Messi 59 games 55 goals 32 assists 3 trophies won
– La Liga BBVA
– La Copa del Rey
– Spanish Supercup
C. Ronaldo 54 games 51 goals 17 assists 3 trophies won
– UEFA Champions League
– UEFA European Championship
– UEFA SuperCup
Total Messi 5 games Messi 4 goals Messi 15 assists Tie

 

Messi vs. Ronaldo (Golden Ball/Ballon d’Or) – Week 47

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still battling (along with French international, Antoine Griezmann and Uruguyan striker, Luis Suarez) for the next Ballon d’Or, while CR7 seems to be the favourite, let’s take a look at the statistics and the trophies won for the calendar year 2016 (Messi still has to play a game today at Real Sociedad):

L. Messi 57 games 54 goals 32 assists 3 trophies won
– La Liga BBVA
– La Copa del Rey
– Spanish Supercup
C. Ronaldo 53 games 51 goals 17 assists 3 trophies won
– UEFA Champions League
– UEFA European Championship
– UEFA SuperCup
Total Messi 4 games Messi 3 goals Messi 15 assists Tie

Lionel Messi and la Copa América

The Argentine captain will feature in his fourth Copa America, this month. So far, the results are the following:

  • 2007 – Loss in the final versus Brazil 3-0, in Venezuela.
  • 2011 – Argentina hosted the tournament, but was eliminated by eventual winners, Uruguay, on penalties after a 1-1 draw and 5-4 loss on penalties.
  • 2015 – Loss in the final against Chile, in Santiago again on penalties (0-0, 4-1 a.e.t.). Messi was voted as the tournament M.V.P. but declined to accept the award at the podium after the loss.
  • 2016 – ??

This year, the tournament is back to celebrate its 100th anniversary and it may be a blessing in disguise for the native of Rosario. In normal times, the next Copa America would have taken in Brazil in 2019 and you can bet your bottom dollar that the Brazilians will be a different team than the one who showed up for “their World Cup“, which ended in a nightmare as we all know.

Furthermore, the Brazilian talisman Neymar Jr., who will play in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this year, will probably add several more trophies to an already jam-packed cabinet and a Copa America and a World Cup are on his list.

Time for La Pulga to win these two, before the Brazilian takes over.

Stay tuned…

2016 Copa America Centenario – Time for Messi and Argentina to raise the trophy

Argentina, this is your moment. After years, even decades of frustration, this competition, which celebrates its 100 years and will be played in the United States for the first time ever, is the moment for Lionel Messi and his group to finally bring some silverware back home. And there are several reasons why we believe they can do so:

  1. The team itself is jam-packed with world-class talent. Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Higuain, Pastore. Lamela, Rojo, Otamendi, Mascherano, etc. Enough said.
  2. Brazil, their biggest and regular threat, will be without their talisman and captain Neymar Jr., who will feature in the 2016 Summer Olympics Games instead, in Rio de Janeiro this August. Furthermore, football fans can sense that La Seleção is still trying to search itself after the 7-1 loss at home, two years ago, and after its second consecutive elimination at la Copa America, last year, versus  the same opponent and in the same fashion (penalty kicks), Paraguay.
  3. Uruguay will challenge for the title, but without the “Pichichi” (La Liga BBVA<s top scorer) and European Golden Shoe winner, Luis Suarez, and it should hurt them a lot since the native of Salto has been on fire for about one year and half now, after a slow start with FC Barcelona.
  4. Chile is the defending champion and a good side with tons of heart. This year, not playing at home, compounded with the resignation of their former manager, Jorge Sampaoli, last January, will definitely make them more vulnerable and less likely to repeat from their success of last year.
  5. Colombia. A Talented team with talented players, but just not having enough to win it all, it seems. They do know how to play and irritate Brazil in recent years, but their elimination on penalties against Argentina, last year, and the fact that they have not won a competition since la Copa America 2001, without Argentina a with a lackluster Brazil, played on home soil, demonstrates that Colombia will most likely not be crowned champions again this year.

Others selections such as Mexico, with Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado will not be easy to deal with. Paraguay, who have been second and fourth respectively of the last two Copa Americas, can do some damage. Ecuador has been a force to be reckon with in the CONMEBOL qualifications for the 2018 FIFA World Cup especially with a win in Argentina. The United States of America play at home and could very well be the surprise of this competition. We doubt though that it will be enough to raise the trophy since it lacks the quality to match the likes of Argentina and Brazil in particular.

Prediction ? Argentina wins its first senior’s title since 1993 and ties Uruguay for the most Copa America triumphs with 15.

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.