Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded the FIFA The Best award for the second year in a row. The award once again acknowledges Ronaldo’s superb year with Real Madrid, as he won the second Champions League in a row and was crowned as La Liga champions.
Once again, Ronaldo and Messi were the two main candidates and once again everything was being decided between them. This time, the Portuguese star got the most votes and has now almost leveled with the Argentine in terms of individual awards. Moreover, soon he could receive his 5th Balon d’Or from France Football as well, which will see him and Lionel Messi on the same throne, as both of them will have 5 Golden Balls in their trophy cabinets.
It seems, that none of them wants to slow down and push the brakes. Their unbelievable desire and amazing dedication is something that others only dream of. It’s true, that now dozens of players are compared to them and are promised bright future, such as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Marco Asensio, etc. It’s true, that Neymar has been in TOP-3 of FIFA The Best award in its two editions, but frankly speaking, never was he considered as a real contender to the prize. So will Ronaldo and Messi ever slow down? We have 3 reasons why they won’t do that.
It’s not a secret that for winning individual awards you have to play for the best teams in the world. Now, look at the clubs where Ronaldo and Messi are currently playing. Real Madrid and Barcelona are on the highest level of European football, with no other team standing nearby. Los Blancos have won everything in recent years, they have become a role model for all other clubs. It wasn’t a surprise when newly appointed Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes announced, “If we want to improve, we have to follow Real Madrid’s example”. The club from Spain capital won 3 champions league titles in 4 years, while Ronaldo has always been the central figure in their system.
On the other hand, Barcelona remains Barcelona, regardless of the form, unexpected player departures or political situations. They can easily beat any club even being in a poor run of form. Leo Messi? What can we say about him? Genius. This word is enough to describe him, and he is constantly proving that it’s not a problem for him to carry the whole team on his shoulders and win matches. In September, they beat Juventus 3-0. They beat a team, whom they lost months earlier in Champions league. And who can say, that this club in crisis?
Neymar moved to PSG to win Balon d’Or, as his neighborhood suggest. He moved there to get out of Messi’s shadow and show his full potential. Well, it’s possible for him to shine in France, but believe me, no one will take seriously his braces or hat-tricks against Dijon or Amiens, when Ronaldo and Messi are scoring the same amount of goals against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
It’s not a secret that the extraordinary players are a rarity in world football nowadays. We have Ronaldo, Messi …… a big gap …. and others. Yes, there are those who stand close to them, but no one can really make any competition. Neymar? He still has to prove himself in France and in World Cup, maybe, but currently, he cannot be compared to Ronaldo or Messi. Mbappe? Still too young to be even named along with CR7 and Leo. Hazard? De Bruyne? Pogba? They are good but not good enough to overcome the two giants who have better stats, better PR, and more sympathy.
If we go back to the early 2000’s, we’ll see that there were at least 10 players who could be labeled as “World Class Players”. Ronaldo, Zidane, Ronaldinho, Carlos, Owen, Beckham, Raul… Now there are two main stars and all others.
Years are passing by, but Ronaldo and Messi are still there and are still winning. It was 2008 when Ronaldo won his first Balon d’Or. The next year Messi won his first. Since then, 9 years have passed, and no other player was able to even challenge them.
There are time periods in history when certain people symbolize an era. Now we are living in Ronaldo’s and Messi’s era. 30 years before it was Maradona, while before him the legendary Pele shone brighter than anybody. You cannot simply overcome this kind of players, who have caliber, talent, who are working hard and who are still alive.