Cristiano Ronaldo has taken a huge lead to win the 2017 Golden Ball. But for two months, Lionel Messi has reduced the gap …
A week after the publication of the list of 30 players named for the Golden Ball 2017, the countdown is launched. For two months, the small world of football will vibrate to the rhythm of discussions for the election of the best player in the world. There will be estimates, of course. Objection, surely. And deliberation, like to put a face on the movie poster of the year. For more than ever – it must be remembered – the Ballon d’Or is only the photograph of a year. In this game, Cristiano Ronaldo is ahead, but can Lionel Messi believe?
Cristiano Ronaldo took the toughest test
Before going into detail, one observation is necessary: after a decade to truster all the individual distinctions of this game, Ronaldo and Messi continue to make the rain and the good weather. Years pass, but the two monsters do not falter. Natural or calculated, the evolution of their game keeps them at heights that still give vertigo. Some have tried to make their way. Neymar looks like a natural heir. Griezmann, Neuer, Ribery, Iniesta, Xavi or Sneijder, in bulk, have all seen the zenith without ever reaching it.
Only in their world, Ronaldo and Messi have learned to appreciate. And to locate. In recent years, both champions anticipate the verdict with accuracy and malice. Because doubt does not exist, perhaps. This chronology took shape this year … until September. At this point, Cristiano Ronaldo had swept everything in his path to pose as a grand favorite in his own succession and to equal Messi by winning his 5th Golden Ball. The Argentinian however came back in his rear-view mirror. You have to be called Messi to do it.
A brief reminder of the facts. Cristiano Ronaldo is on the best field of playhas left its mark. The first player of the history to cross the bar of the 100 goals in Champions League, the Portuguese literally carried Real Madrid towards his second consecration in two years in the Cup with the big ears – an unprecedented feat, there too. As if he had preserved himself for the great fights, this conquest has become his, according to his exploits with each march crossed by his team (5 goals against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals, 3 against Atlético Madrid in the semi-finals and 2 against Juventus in the final). If this last straight of the season is a sort of ultimate exam, then Ronaldo has passed it with flying colors. Moreover, CR7 has even offered the luxury of crowning it with a title of champion of Spain.
Dazzling, Messi must fill his absence of major titles
How can Messi continue to hope? Looking at the start of this new season, for example. She offers him some cards to brandish. Liga scorer (11 goals), Messi takes all the light in Barcelona, in a team in full reconstruction. Better, throughout the calendar year, the Rosario native is the top scorer of the 5 major European championships. His creative guarantee and his contribution to the game give even more cachet to this record, where Ronaldo assumes a style of pure finisher. And then Messi holds – finally (!) – a striking match with Argentina. In Ecuador, his selection was on the edge of the abyss when he emerged, alone or almost, to sign a triplete and take him to the World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo has waited like a lion in a cage for months to unlock his counter in Liga. It’s been done since Saturday, in mid-October! Suspended 5 matches at the start of the season, the Portuguese is far, far away, from his usual standards on this year 2017-18, although the Champions League remains a loophole for him. We know his formula. “Goals are like ketchup: when they arrive, they all come at the same time . ” Yes, but autumn still counts for the Ballon d’Or. In suffrage, it is the period of the last impressions. That of the turns. And these trajectories crossed the two lines.
A specific point should nevertheless be fatal to Lionel Messi . The return to the old rules of the Ballon d’Or places the list in the criteria important for the reward. European and Spanish champion Cristiano Ronaldo has nothing to fear from this side since Messi has only one Cup of the King to oppose him. It would be another matter if the jury still focused on captains and national team coaches. But the journalists have taken over the hand since 2015. The major handicap of Messi is there for this year. Its mission is clear: to sign one or two other five star services in the coming weeks. Because opposite, Cristiano Ronaldo, who knows too much music, is ready to put the last blow of collar .