Cristiano Ronaldo: Why He Should Win the Ballon d'Or
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It has almost been forgotten that he won the award in 2008, so tight is Lionel Messi's grip on the trophy and Cristiano's hunger to usurp him as the World's No.1 footballer.
So on that night, when he lines up against Messi and Andres Iniesta, why should it be him that is crowned the best?
The year may have started with with Messi, Iniesta and Barcelona on top with January's Copa Del Rey exchanges.
It may also be ending with them on top too, holding a substantial lead at the top of La Liga.
But, for large parts in between it has been Real Madrid—spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo—who were extinguishing all before them in an all-too-easy fashion.
The theory goes that Pep Guardiola's Barca side were the greatest of the current generation. Yet with age still on their side, they had the title wrestled away from them through Mourinho's mind games and Ronaldo's goals in 2012.
And not just a few goals from the Portuguese footballer. 46. Forty-six.
Among those goals was the winner at Camp Nou in April. The winner that all but secured last season's title would go to Los Blancos. The winner witnessed by a world audience of nearly 400 million.
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He also scored the quarter-final winner against Czech Republic, before Portugal's elimination against Spain on penalties. He had been earmarked for the vital fifth-spot kick—it never arrived.
So, while Lionel Messi has been busy scoring multiple goals against all and sundry, Cristiano Ronaldo has been proving that he is a big-game player, something often questioned in his formative years—particularly at Manchester United.
Where were Messi's goals in last season's key Clasico? What about his penalty miss against ten-man Chelsea?
The proof has continued into the current campaign, as he scored twice as Real Madrid won the Super Copa. This season's first La Liga Clasico was once again serenaded by the 27-year-old. His double secured Real Madrid a point, and him the record of scoring in six successive Clasico matches.
While Real Madrid stutter in the league currently, little—if any—blame can be pointed in the direction of the Portuguese forward.
In fact, without his 14 goals people may not be writing about Mourinho's possible departure but about his actual departure.
After a brace against Granada in September, Cristiano declared himself 'triste'—sad. If he deservedly lifts the Ballon d'Or, he won't be so sad anymore.
We may even see that famous wink.
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