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As ever, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are overwhelming favourites for the Ballon d’Or title.
You can read the case for Ronaldo here.
Lionel Messi has scored a preposterous 90 goals in 2012 at time of writing.
Sure, no one had really considered the calendar year record before Messi got close to overtaking Gerd Muller, but that’s because no one thought it would be beaten.
In the modern game, a striker is considered prolific if he scores more than a goal every two games.
These days, Messi and Ronaldo are expected to score in every game. The Portuguese forward has scored 63 in 2012. Messi has scored 90.
23 of Ronaldo’s goals have been penalties. 14 of Messi’s were from the spot.
The Ballon d’Or is a year-end award, so the calendar year comparison is apt.