On December 7, the popular 61st annual FIFA Ballon D’Or award ceremony took place in Paris, France. As usual, many people all over the world paid close attention, wondering who would win the prestigious award. The two top contenders were Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, both known to be the world’s best soccer players. These two are the only players in history that have more than 4 awards each, and nobody has came close to this achievement, besides Michel Platini, with 3 to his name.
By the end of the night, Cristiano Ronaldo matched history when he received his 5th Ballon D’Or, equaling Messi’s amount.
The two player’s respective teams, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have both been considered to be the world’s best clubs, as in history, many great players have played for these two teams, like Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane. The two teams have had a fierce rivalry for the majority of the league’s history, and many people watch the game known as El Clásico, which is the intense match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Although the two teams themselves get a lot of attention for their rivalries, the players that play for these teams also get a lot of attention. In today’s world, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are known as the giants of the sport, with many trophies and records to their names. Barcelona supporters believe that Messi is the greatest, whilst Madrid fans believe that Ronaldo is the greatest. Statistically speaking, Ronaldo has racked up over 622 goals in 883 career appearances, while Messi has scored 586 goals in 729 career appearances. However, Messi does have more honours, boasting over 39 trophies and honours to his name, while Ronaldo holds about 30 trophies and achievements.
Ronaldo’s run-up season prior to receiving this prestigious award has been nothing but monumental. During the 2016-17 season, Ronaldo scored 42 of Real Madrid’s 166 goals in all competitions, and collectively played for over 4,000 minutes. He received many awards, including winning the UEFA Champions League, and the 2016 European Championship with the Italian team. Although he missed 14 games with injuries and other issues, he still was the third-highest goalscorer in La Liga, the Spanish soccer league. He had a shaky start to his season, as he was returning from a very problematic knee injury sustained during the 2016 European Championship finals. On his first game back, he netted a goal in a 5-2 win against CA Osasuna. He proceeded for the rest of the regular season only missing 7 games from squad exclusions, in which he sustained a few other minor injuries. By the end of the season, he received the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award and made the FIFA FIFPRO World XI team.
The achievements that Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved not only this season, but throughout his career, are phenomenal. His career is undoubtedly getting better and stronger as time passes, and the addition of this Ballon D’Or to his already astounding collection further proves that he is one of history’s greatest athletes.