Ronaldo’s 2019 Ballon d’or hopes; One step forward, two steps backward.


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Fans, analysts, pundits and journalists have mooted the idea of Van Dijk, Raheem Sterling, Mbappe and Bernardo Silva as possible recipients of football’s most prestigious individual award, the ballon d’or.

Need one mention that usual suspects, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are in the conversation?


Footytool’s ADEKANYE OPEOLUWA runs a quick check on Cristiano Ronaldo’s ballon d’or hopes, X-raying his performances in the Italian League, Champions League and UEFA Nations League.


ONE STEP FORWARD.


Ronaldo sealed a move to Italian Giants, Juventus ahead of the 2018/2019 season. The Portuguese scored in the Super Coppa Italia final to hand Juventus the trophy.

He scored a total of 21 goals in a new league, registering 8 assists as Juventus won the Italian Serie A.

He was named best player in the Serie A.

Ronaldo was named Serie A’s best player, many felt the award should have gone to Quagliarella instead.

Ronaldo became the first player to win the League in three of Europe’s top three Leagues; the Premier League, the Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A.


TWO STEPS BACKWARD.


Juventus had won the Italian Serie A for seven straight seasons and they were going to win it for an 8th consecutive season, with, or without Ronaldo.

Ronaldo also failed to end the Serie A as top scorer with 36 year old Fabio Quagliarella the surprise winner of that honour. Not only that, Zapata and Piatek finished ahead of Ronaldo in the golden shoe race as well.


Ronaldo winning the League in his first season in Italy counts, but with due respect to other Italian clubs, they were never a match to Juventus.

The points difference between Champions Juventus and Napoli tells a lot. Perhaps, Ronaldo could have consolidated his ballon d’or hopes by winning the top scorer award, but for every reason a Quaglirella can finish as top scorer ahead of Ronaldo, it represents a huge dent to his World best hopes.


To the Champions League;


ONE STEP FORWARD;


Ronaldo proved his big game prowress by scoring 5 goals for Juventus in the Champions League after the group stage.

He scored a memorable hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the round of 16, to reverse a 2-0 deficit and help Juventus progress to the Quarter finals where he would score twice for Juventus again.


TWO STEPS BACKWARD.


Ronaldo’s two goals against Ajax was not enough as Juventus were knocked out by the youthful dutch side.

Ajax knocked out Juventus from the Champions League.

For every reason Juventus splashed the cash on Ronaldo, it was to help them win the Champions League having failed at the final twice in the past 5 seasons.


If Juventus could get to the final and semi finals of the Champions League without Ronaldo, they should be able to do better with him.

Juventus failures in the Champions League also dents Ronaldo’s ballon d’or hopes plus his failures to score more than one goal in the Champions League group stage does not help his course as well.


ONE STEP FORWARD.


Ronaldo singlehandedly powered Portugal to the final of the UEFA Nations League scoring a treble against Switzerland in the Semi final. The first, a wonderful free-kick, the other two, well taken trademark Cristiano Ronaldo goals which befits his elegance. Portugal ended as champions of the UEFA Nations League with Ronaldo as top scorer.

Ronaldo with the UEFA Nations league trophy.
Ronaldo celebrating his goal against Switzerland with UEFA Nations League best player, Bernardo Silva.


TWO STEPS BACKWARD.


UEFA Nations League’s place in football in terms of how prestige remains unknown. It does not replace the Euros and it is seen as a ‘friendly trophy’.

Perhaps more telling on Ronaldo’s ballon d’or hopes is how Portugal proved they are not a one man army.

Bernardo Silva provided the assist for Guedes winner in the final against Netherlands while Silva also provided assist at the Semi Final stage.


Bernardo Silva was named as the best player of the UEFA Nations League.


Ronaldo’s inability to score against the bigger team, and against a fellow ballon d’or contender Van Dijk’s country could be telling. More so, he was not named the best player in the tournament.


Journalists, Coaches, captains, and the fans would play their part in determining the ballon d’or winner & the FIFA the best award recipient, and all the aforementioned would be considered before making their choice.

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