It’s hard to tell the exact moment when the Ballon d’Or became such a huge thing. We’ve always had awards for the best player, but it’s become a fascination for some players in recent years.
The very idea of individual awards being seen as the most important thing in a team sport is absurd, but it does feel like some players would rather take the individual glory. I’m not suggesting that’s the case with Cristiano Ronaldo, but you have to think winning the Ballon d’Or is very important to him.
It won’t come as shock to anybody to hear that an agent is sticking up for his client, but Ronaldo’s agent has gone on the offensive to try and defend the legacy of Ronaldo after Lionel Messi won the award for a sixth time tonight.
Football Italia reported that Jorge Mendes said: “Cristiano is the best player in history, and you know it!” to some of the reporters who were gathered at a separate award ceremony to celebrate the best of Serie A.
It’s rare that we see Ronaldo or Messi collect any kind of accolade without it turning into a crude game of trying to claim who is the better player. They are both transcendent talents who play a totally different style, so you can never truly compare them against each other.
Ronaldo turns 35 next Summer so it will take an incredible season for him to reclaim the award next season. His Juventus form has been poor lately so he might need to get a move to find his best form again.
Despite that, if he can drag Portugal to glory in the Euros and perhaps even turn Manchester United’s fortunes round with a sensational return next season, perhaps he will win the Ballon d’Or one final time. Wishful thinking perhaps, but you wouldn’t put it past him.