Cristiano Ronaldo is set to match his arch rival Lionel Messi to win his fifth ballon d’Or in the forthcoming 2017 Ballon d’Or award.
The Real Madrid playmaker was hailed on the front page of France Football, who gives out the game’s most prestigious individual award. The Football magazine captioned the picture with a question asking: “Who can beat him now?”
Ronaldo won the 2016 Ballon d’Or award following his role in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League triumph after netting the winning penalty in the Champions League final, as well as his contributions for Portugal, leading his country to a shock Euro 2016 title, his first trophy with the national team.
That took to him just one win behind his great Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo is now set for further glory this term, with Real Madrid on course to become the first-ever back-to-back winners of Europe’s premier club competition – as well as being commanding favorites for the La Liga crown.
The big question is, who are the nominees for 2017 Ballon d’Or award?
France Football Magazine has overlooked both fifth-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammate Neymar in their list of candidates who could prevent Ronaldo from retaining the award. Juventus and Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon, and French pair of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe complete the list.
So far, this season, Ronaldo has netted 31 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid. That includes a hat-trick to sink Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first leg last week which followed five strikes in the two legs against Bayern Munich at the quarter-final stage.
He is, however, some way behind Lionel Messi who has 51 goals in all competitions this term. But in his defense, Ronaldo has been rested by coach Zinedine Zidane more than usual in the current campaign in order to keep him fresh for the biggest tests.
And with Madrid now favorites to win the La Liga and also the Champions League, Cristiano could end the season with both of the major trophies in his possession.
Other Interesting Facts About 2017 Ballon d’Or Award
Players who have won Ballon d’Or award the most include:
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 5 times
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 4 times (currently going for the fifth)
- Michel Platini (played for Juventus) – 3 times
- Johan Cruyff ( Played for Barcelona) – 3 times
- Marco Van Basten (played for A.C. Milan) – 3 times
- Franz Beckenbauer (played for Bayern Munich) – 2 times
Do you know:
- Lionel Messi is the only Argentine footballer to have Ballon d’Or award.
- Lionel Messi has won Ballon d’Or five times, came 2nd four times and 3rd just once
- This would be the first time Lionel Messi won’t be shortlisted for Ballon d’Or award.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has won Ballon d’Or four times and came 2nd for five times