Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players to have walked a football pitch and his performances this season have belied his age.
He has mustered 26 goals in the league in just 27 appearances and complemented that with 15 goals in the Champions League, leading his side to the final in the process.
While Ronaldo has had a stellar season, there have been a few others who have had as much of an impact as the Portuguese meaning his claim on the Ballon d’Or might have reduced significantly.
On that note, here are five reasons why Ronaldo will not win the Ballon d’Or this year.
#5 Failure to win UCL would leave Ronaldo without a meaningful trophy
Real Madrid had a disastrous La Liga campaign, finishing in third place, behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Their position is not the only thing that would worry fans, but also their performances.
They were also knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes. This means their only shot at silverware would be the Champions League where they come up against a Liverpool side inspired by Mohamed Salah.
Madrid were fortunate to get past Juventus – where they blew a 3-0 lead from the first leg – and then Bayern Munich, who missed quite a few chances. Moreover, the final being a winner-takes-all match levels the playing field.
Liverpool have proven that they can hold their own against the best in the world and one more great European performance would propel Salah ahead of Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or race.
#4 Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah has been breaking records left, right and centre since his move to Liverpool at the start of the season.
He eviscerated the competition in the race for the Golden Boot, finishing with a whopping 32 goals in the Premier League (the most by a player in a season), also winning the PFA Player of the Year for his scintillating displays.
He has also led Liverpool to the final of the Champions League and will be looking to get one over on Ronaldo by pipping him to the trophy. If Salah does indeed inspire the Reds to the cup, he will surely overtake Ronaldo in the race for the Ballon d’Or.
#3 Impact in La Liga
While Ronaldo found his best form during the latter half of the season, he failed to inspire his team to noteworthy wins, meaning they simply could not catch up to Barcelona.
The Portuguese scored a whopping 26 goals in the competition, but his assist tally stood at a measly 5, clearly indicating that when he did not get on the scoresheet, he failed to impact the game.
Moreover, Ronaldo is a bit of a slow starter in the league. He scored only 1 goal in the first half of the campaign and this could very well be the case next season as well. Since the Ballon d’Or takes into account the performances of the players for an entire calendar year, a slow start could weigh heavily against him come voting time.
#2 Ronaldo-Messi losing their Ballon d’Or stranglehold?
The last 10 Ballon d’Ors have been won by one of Messi and Ronaldo, clearly showing how they have ruled the world of football in the last decade. This season though may be the one where their dominance finally comes to an end.
While the likes of Neymar and Griezmann have come close to breaking their stranglehold in the past few years, the competition this time around is much more intense.
Enough has been said about Mo Salah in the previous slides, but aside from him, there is also the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Kevin de Bruyne and co who will be breathing down their necks after stellar domestic campaigns.
#1 Portugal are unlikely to win the World Cup
Winning the World Cup is the pinnacle for every footballer and they are often judged on their performances in the global tournament.
Portugal have a relatively weak squad heading to Russia when compared to a few of the other teams, including Argentina. While many of the members of their victorious Euro campaign are still present, it is still not a squad that inspires too much confidence.
The likes of France, Belgium, Spain and Germany are filled with world-class players capable of winning games single-handedly.
If Ronaldo wants to lay his hands on the coveted Ballon d’Or yet again, he needs to be able to inspire his troops to the trophy.