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Ballon d’Or 2018: Ronaldo Bids for the Hat-Trick

Not since 2012 has any player won the coveted Ballon d’Or award three years in a row. On that occasion it was Lionel Messi who achieved the feat and now Cristiano Ronaldo has the chance to equal his great rivals’ achievement.

Another Massive Season

In 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or for the fifth time to equal the record held by, you guessed it, Lionel Messi. Now he has the chance to go one clear with a sixth award and his fifth in the last six years.

It’s been another massive season for the Portuguese striker, not just for Real Madrid but also for his country. He ended the season with another Champions League winner’s medal and was part of the Spanish side that won the World Club Championship. He’s currently preparing for the World Cup as he tries to win his first ever World Cup winner’s medal, Ronaldo has a couple of other matters on his mind. Firstly, the club he’ll be playing for next season and whether he has done enough to win the Ballon d’Or award.

Last year saw Ronaldo win the award with 946 votes and that gave him victory over Lionel Messi by 276 votes with Neymar back in third – a massive 585 votes adrift of the Portuguese winner.

Only once since 2008 has Ronaldo failed to finish in the top two and he’ll be confident of being right in the mix again this year after another excellent first half of 2018.

Prolific Goal Scorer

He may not have won the La Liga title with Real Madrid last season, but Ronaldo still managed to score 26 goals in the 27 Spanish league games. He had some injury problems during the campaign and that limited the number of games he played, particularly towards the end of the season. His goal against Atletico Madrid in April saw him reach 650 goals in his career. This year has also seen him become the fastest to 300 La Liga goals and he reached the mark of 50 hat-tricks in his illustrious career. It’s easy to see why he is the 2.0 favourite with 888sport to win the Ballon d’Or trophy.

Overall, Ronaldo scored 44 goals in 44 games for Real Madrid in the 2017/18 season and he was in fantastic form during his side’s successful defence of the Champions League. He scored 15 goals in 13 games in that tournament. He also scored in all six of the group stage matches, something no player had ever achieved before.

When the knock-out stages arrived, he hit three goals in the last-16 win over PSG and another three in the quarter-final win over Juventus including that amazing bicycle goal in the first leg and the crucial second-leg penalty that secured victory. His run of scoring in ten consecutive games ended in the semi-finals and he failed to score in either the last four or the win over Liverpool in the final but it was still a competition to remember.

International Success

His international career flourished too over the past year. Portugal won their group to automatically qualify for the upcoming World Cup finals and Ronaldo was in sparkling form with two goals away in Andorra and a hat-trick at home to the Faroe Islands.

Again, Cristiano Ronaldo has shown over the past year that he remains a prolific goalscorer both for his club and country. He has an outstanding chance of winning another Ballon d’Or 2018 trophy and some key performances in the World Cup would make him an even hotter favourite.

 

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