In a previous post, I asked you all to vote for who should have won the Ballon d’Or since it will not be awarded this year. In the end it was a race between two people, which is probably what would have happened in the real awards. Here are the rankings:
T-3: Ciro Immobile, 33 Goals and 7 Assists
It’s been an incredible season for Ciro Immobile. He has almost single-handily changed Serie A club Lazio from Europa League candidates to Serie A candidates, including helping the Eagles go on an incredible 21-game undefeated league run. However, any chance of Immobile winning the Ballon d’Or has disappeared, even if the award was given. Lazio are on a five-game winless streak, dropping them down from second to fourth. In that time, Immobile has scored once.
Regardless of this, Immobile’s form has been superb. He has helped Lazio win the Supercoppa Italiana final against Juventus as well as a chance to clinch a Champions League spot for Lazio for the first time since the 2014/15 season.
T-3: Cristiano Ronaldo, 34 Goals and 7 Assists
Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Ors, the second most of all time. However, he hasn’t won the trophy for the past two seasons, allowing Messi to pass him and get a record-sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019. It’s understandable that Ronaldo is no longer winning the trophy as he is now 35-years old, but he’s undoubtedly one of the best in the world.
He has scored 34 goals in all competitions, as Juventus have already made it to two cup finals, although they did lose both. However the signs of age are showing, as Ronaldo has missed a couple games due to various injuries and ailments. Despite all this, Ronaldo still has the ability to compete with Europe’s elite and is still one of the best.
2: Robert Lewandowski, 51 Goals, 6 Assists
Robert Lewandowski was the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or before it was cancelled, which would have been the crown jewel of an impressive trophy cabinet. This season Lewandowski won his fifth Bundesliga top scorer award, his fifth DFB Pokal top scorer award, his fourth German Cup, and his eighth Bundesliga title. The only things Lewandowski is missing is the Ballon d’Or and the Champions League trophy, as he joined Bayern after their 2013 Champions League win. Oh, and he’s also the favorite to win the Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer this season.
Lewandowski still has a chance to win the Champions League this season, as Bayern are going all-out for the treble. He’ll have to wait until August to participate in competitive soccer again, as the Bundesliga is over and Bayern only have one friendly scheduled until then.
1: Lionel Messi, 30 Goals, 26 Assists
Barcelona have been a disaster this season, but Lionel Messi still continues to shine. Barcelona spent a combined $151.8 million on two strikers to help ease the pressure on Messi. Of that, $132 million was spent on World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann. In 46 games, Griezmann contributed to just 19 goals. Ousmane Dembele, who is also a transfer flop, got injured shortly after the Winter transfer window. Dembele was out for a minimum of six months, meaning that Barcelona could use a La Liga rule to sign any La Liga striker they wanted. They spent $19.80 million on Leganes striker Martin Braithwaite, who played 11 games for Barcelona and scored one with no assists.
Somehow Lionel Messi has managed to be a one-man show at Camp Nou, as the Argentinian has scored 30 goals and gathered 26 assists, setting records as he goes. Messi has now scored over 700 goals for club and country, making him the second active player to score that many, alongside Ronaldo. Messi did it in 112 fewer games. La Pulga also became the first player in La Liga’s history to score 20 or more goals and assists in a single season, and he has the record for most Ballon d’Ors in history, with seven. And now he has one more, as he won our poll, narrowly beating Robert Lewandowski. Legend.
However despite the results of the poll, I think Robert Lewandowski deserves the Ballon d’Or. Even early in the season when Bayern were struggling, and Niko Kovač was fired, Lewandowski was still scoring constantly and consistently. He’s dominated every competition he has played in, including the Champions League when he scored four against Red Star. The best player in the world, playing for the best current team in the world.
What do you think about the candidates? Please leave a comment.
Image Courtesy of TheTank / CC BY-SA.
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