Cristiano Ronaldo and Some Other Golden Ball Contenders

Nohome JeromeCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2008

With no doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo deserves the Golden Ball Award. His individual performances during the English Premier League and through the UEFA Champions League were amazing. After the European Final the award was clear, but following the EURO 2008 some new contenders are in the hunt. Let’s take a look at them.:

Cristiano Ronaldo: This guy is the triple threat. He dominates the game as much as anyone in world of football. He generates plays around him. He dazzles with the ball in his foot, and he is also outstanding in free kicks and in the air game.

His last season stats were also amazing. He scored 42 goals, adding many assists. He led his team to back to back Premiership titles and the first continental trophy of the decade.

However, in my opinion, he is not as good as usual in the clutch. He completely disappeared against Barcelona in UCL semifinal. He also missed a penalty in the first leg of the eliminatory. In the final, he struggled a little bit after an impressive start.

Moreover, he missed another penalty in the final shootout.

With his national team he was out, unable to help Portugal avoid disgusting quarterfinal elimination. His attitude is also questionable. His trade drama and his selfish position are making him unpopular.

Does he still deserve the Golden Ball Award?

Fernando Torres: This player is the real deal, an all-around striker. In his first season at the Premiership, he broke Ruud Van Nistelrooy's record of scores as a rookie. He got 23 goals in the League, adding six more in 10 appearances in the UEFA Champions League.

His biggest goal was reached a month ago, when he kicked Spain to its first title in 44 years.

In my opinion, he deserves the award as much as anyone. Fernando "Big Time" Torres is a real competitor. He raises his level at key moments. He scored in each Champions League qualifying.

Above this, he scored in the second leg. He shut the game at San Siro with an impressive goal. He destroyed the tie against Arsenal, and took Liverpool to the overtime at Stanford Bridge, beating Petr Cech in the semis.

He also scored the single goal in the EURO 2008 final, and was named Player of the Game.

He is the full package, but does he deserve the award after a unique season at the spotlight?

Iker Casillas: A goalkeeper? Why not? He is the best keeper in the world. He was the least beaten keeper in La Liga. He also had three consecutive clean sheets trough the Spanish march to the European title.

I don’t imagine a better place for his greatest statement. A Sunday Night. EUROCUP quarters. In front, Italy, the history, and Gianluigi Buffon, "the best goalkeeper in the world."

"The Saint" saved a couple, setting his legacy, beating Buffon, and helping Spain to capture a lifetime opportunity.

He is not going to win the award, but does he deserve the prize?


For me, these are the major contenders, but there are also some pretenders. I list them below: Lionel Messi, Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas.

What’s your opinion?