As the nominations for this year’s Ballon D’Or were released, there was only one household somewhere in Madrid which contained any serious degree of shock at the fact that Lionel Messi is the odds on favourite at 8/13 to be voted as the best player in the world for the fourth year in-a-row.
The little Argentinian is already being ranked as one of the best players of all time. The man to whom he is compared the most, Diego Maradona, has anointed Messi as his successor. At this rate it won’t be long before he overtakes the man with the celestial appendage.
Lionel scored the 300th and 301st goals of his professional career against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. He now sits just 41 goals behind Maradona with the best years of his career to come.
However, should he be the favourite this time round? Messi may be out-scoring Cristiano Ronaldo marginally over the last year but those extra goals haven’t led to any silverware. Ron on the other hand helped Real Madrid to the La Liga title, ending Barcelona’s three year winning streak.
Should achievements trump statistics or will it come down to CR7 just not being as well loved by his fellow professionals?
There are other players nominated of course, some farcically so, but in the end this will come down to a straight race between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Who would you vote for?