• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Ballon d’Or: Who ends Messi/Ronaldo dominance?



Since the inception of the FIFA Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the prestigious award. For eight consecutive years the duo of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award, both players have created fierce competition for world football supremacy.   Ronaldo had his hands on the award for the first time in 2008 while playing for  Manchester United, with Lionel Messi taking the award for a record four consecutive years (2009-2012), and Ronaldo bouncing back with two consecutive years (2013 and 2014). In the just concluded Ballon d’Or ceremony Lionel Messi was easily named the world best player for the fifth record time.

Spain’s top clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid have drawn the best of players around the world to their camps, could there be any shift in power?

Technically, according to the most recent votes for the FIFA PRO XI, England, Germany and Italy have been unable to meet up to the professionalism of the Spanish mega clubs, with the premier league totally shut down from the list.

Meanwhile, eight players were selected from Barcelona and Real Madrid, with one player from the French Ligue 1(Thiago Silva), one player from German Bundesliga (Manuel Neuer), and another player from Serie A (Paul Pogba). The English premier league was totally shut out for another year from the party of the stars in Zurich, with no place in the PRO XI or top nomination spot. The premier league has made a name as the toughest league in the world especially with the current season establishing the possibility for equality among teams but it has not provided any Ballon d’Or representative for the sixth year in a row, we must admit that England’s elite clubs have fallen back as compared to its European competition.

These two have definitely found their place in the history books, there has not been any fierce competition for the two players in the past eight years, but, do we just wait for an end to the Ronaldo/Messi era? Many soccer pundits and fans around the world have aired various views on the Ballon d’Or awards.

Bayern Munich captain was quick to air his opinion of the Ballon d’Or in an exclusive column on GOAL, he gave credits to the world best player for a well deserved award, but also referred to the award as a popularity contest.


He further criticized it as an award for “most visible players and insisted it has become “a vote for the world’s best striker”. Italian Fabio Cannavaro is the only recent defender to bag the award; no goalkeeper has been able to pick the award aside Lev Yashin in 1963, should such an award be left for only the goal scorers? Lahm also made a strong point explaining that “football is much more than the moment of triumph [when the ball hits the net]. Football is teamwork, unity, defense, assists, and sacrifice”

All hope is definitely not lost for a shift in power, some notable names like, Neymar, Suarez and Bale all stand as good options for the Ballon d’Or in years to come.

Coming back to the Barclays Premier League, names like David de Gea, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard top the list, although Hazard has not been having the best season so far,but,  we can’t deny the fact that he is a top quality player. The German league also provides strong opposition, with the like of Robert Lewandowski.

Will Messi and Ronaldo continue to clinch the FIFA Ballon d’Or award and when will upcoming stars take over the baton? Well, time will tell.

Anthony Nlebem & Martins Noel Keyen