Ballon d’Or: Messi firm favourite to pip Ronaldo, Neymar

Published: December 31, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

The 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or poses a classic dilemma for its voters. In Cristiano Ronaldo, they have a candidate who has scored more goals (61) than anyone else but won absolutely nothing in the past 12 months. On the other hand, what Lionel Messi loses in goals (58), he more than makes up for with a quintet of silverware.

There is also a third horse in the race in the form of Neymar, who won as much as his teammate Messi did and has made it to the final three of the Ballon d’Or for the first time, but is unlikely to break the duopoly on top  — at least not this year.

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With judging criteria a bit unclear, it is difficult to say with certainty who will be the big winner on January 11 in Zurich, although Messi seems to be ahead in the race. If given the nod, the Barcelona star would lift the famed Ballon d’Or trophy for a record fifth time and take a lead of two over his arch-rival Ronaldo. His trophy collection and the fact that he sat out two months due to injury but scored only three less than Ronaldo seems to be playing in his favour.

Ronaldo himself doesn’t seem too confident about his own chances of being adjudged the world’s best for the fourth time, which will give him parity with the Argentine.

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In an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show back in November, he all but conceded the trophy to Messi, saying, “To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes. You win competitions, you win the league in terms of individual.”

While there is no shame in losing out to Messi at anything football, Ronaldo may not like the idea of being usurped by Neymar as well. The tricky Brazilian has improved by leaps and bounds in the past 12 months and is now widely regarded as the best after the two extra-terrestrials at top.

In fact, some of his compatriots such as Dunga and Daniel Alves even feel that he is already better than Ronaldo, if not Messi. He also scored the winner in the Champions League final against Juventus last season, which adds more weight to his case.

The truth is Neymar may not win this year, but his emergence as a young, flamboyant, free-scoring forward with a knack for winning bodes well for the future of the Beautiful Game we all love so much.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Dec 31, 2015 - 8:50PM

    Ronaldo: 57 goals
    messi: 52 goals

    Ronaldo should win this award because the ballondor is an individual award and NOT a team trophy. Individually, Ronaldo has been better than messi and Neymar. He played fewer games than messi (for club and country) and still managed to score 5 more goals.

    Real Madrid hasn’t been in top form this year, but Ronaldo still managed to a consistent goal scoring machine even with Real Madrids underperformce.

    If messi should win the ballondor award just because BARCELONA performed well then Neymar and Messi should share the award.

    CR7 should win this award!Recommend

  • Jan 1, 2016 - 6:33AM

    my friend i am neutral to messi-ronaldo discussion but here is what i think:
    messi deserves it for 2015.
    i am not taking anything from Ronaldos perfect year but again messi was overall far better than ronaldo.
    he single handly won barcelona many vital games with went on to give them silverwear while ronaldo went missing in many matches. I watch all madrid and barcelona matches because of wonderfull fotball and goals, To give the award to ronaldo this year just beacuse he have some more goals in total and zero throphy against messi with some less goals and 5 thropies will be insane. Ronaldo deserved it last year and Messi in this year thats what i predict,
    Final say in this matter will be from God.
    enjoy fotball then you will forget all discusions, peace =)Recommend

  • El Nino
    Jan 1, 2016 - 6:54PM

    Messi should win the Balon D’Or easily this year, and Neymar should come in second. Ronaldo scores many goals, but he never shows up in big games. Sure he’ll score 6 in some 9 goal “thriller” against a much weaker team than Real, but that is what is expected anyway. Real would win those games without him. But in big games, he is horrible. Also, I feel he is ruining Real by being the player that everyone feeds into because we always expect him to score. His shooting is bad, but his freekicks are even worse. This year, Messi has had a better goals to shots ratio, and a better freekick record. You can see how Ronaldo is ruining Real by the fact that we got no silverware in 2015. It is not acceptable for Real to get no silverware in a year. Also, Ronaldo blocks the progression on youngsters by always being the underserved star of the team and the press, which doesn’t allow players like Isco & Kovacic to get a moment in the spotlight. This is all coming from a Real Fan that is just really sick of Ronaldo ruining our great club.Recommend

  • Jan 2, 2016 - 3:35PM

    @iphone 7 cases:
    And you thinks when you scores the highest number of goals then you becomes the best player? He got golden boot for been the top scorer but golden ball goes to the best player who can influence the game even without scoring and that is Messi for you. CR7 now obsessed with goals cos he knows that’s the only thing that kept him among the best apart from that he contribute nothing anymore to Madrid. CR7 and his fans thinks that been the top scorer then you will automatically becomes best player but those who knows and follow the game well thinks otherwise. CR7 shouldn’t be have been among the top 3 it should’ve been Suarez but Fifa don’t want 3 Barca players and Perez paid for it. Recommend

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