3 reasons why Ronaldo does not deserve to win the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award
The draws for the UEFA Champions League group stage would take place at the Grimaldi form in Monaco France. It will also be the venue where the 2018 UEFA club awards would be decided, with the trio of Mo Salah, Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo all vying for the top honour of being crowned the UEFA Men's Player of the Year.
The award is the most prestigious on the night and has understandably generated interest among fans, with all three men being deserved winners.
Mo Salah had one of the most extraordinary debut seasons in footballing history, as his 44 goals helped guide Liverpool to a Champions League runner-up spot and a 4th place finish in the league. He also won the Premier League Golden Boot with 32 goals, breaking a long-standing record for most goals in a 38-game season in the process, which previously stood at 31. Salah's performance fittingly saw him named as both the PFA and PWA Player of the Year.
Luka Modric was exceptional as always. For so long the silent controller of Real Madrid's midfield, the 32-year-old has been one of the most important components of Real Madrid's recent successes, displaying a high level of consistency in controlling the tempo of games from midfield since his 2012 transfer from Tottenham. Although he has largely not gotten the credits his immense talents deserve as Ronaldo hugged most of the headlines.
His performances came to the fore at the last World Cup, where he was the star of the show as unfancied Croatia went all the way to the final where they bowed to eventual winners France in a 4-2 loss. Modric skippered his country through it all, providing inspiration on and off the field, and his efforts were duly rewarded as he was named the Golden Ball winner as the player of the tournament.
Ronaldo had another exceptional season in Real Madrid's colors on the continent despite relatively underperforming in La Liga. His 15 goals (including a spectacular overhead kick in the 3-0 quarter-final victory over Juventus which was voted as the UEFA Goal of the season), won him the UCL Golden Boot for the sixth consecutive season, and he also set a record of being the first man in history to score in 11 consecutive Champions League matches.
He starred in the World Cup for Portugal, with his highlight performance coming in his nation's opening day 3-3 draw with 2010 champions Spain, where Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to draw level with Ferenc Puskas on 84 international goals, and a header four days later in a 1-0 victory over Morocco made him the highest scoring European on the international scene, and second highest of all time, only behind Iran's Ali Daei.
Ronaldo is in the forerunning to win the award for the third consecutive season, and fourth time overall. However, some fans and pundits believe that Ronaldo does not deserve to win the award.
There is never one side to a story, and every pro also has its cons. Therefore, despite there being compelling reasons why Ronaldo should be named UEFA Men's Player of the Year, there are also reasons against it. Here are three justifications for Ronaldo not being named UEFA Men's Player of the Year.
#3 The bookmakers say he is not the favourite
Contrary to public opinion, Ronaldo is not the favourite to win the award, at least in the eyes of the bookmakers, who have installed World Cup Golden Ball winner Luka Modric as the overwhelming favourite to win the award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah.
Luka Modric is priced at 11/10 by renowned bookmakers Betfair, while former teammate and Champions League record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place with odds of 6/4. Liverpool star Mo Salah who became both the first African and first Premier League player to be nominated for the award after his record-breaking 44-goal debut season is third most likely to win the award, with punters having odds of 9/2 to stake on.
Although bookmakers' favourites sometimes fail to reflect the outcome of football matches, more often than not they are usually spot on when it comes to individual awarding, as Ronaldo himself knows, having been favourite each time he won his awards.
The bookmakers believe that Ronaldo is not the favourite to win the award, so the smart money would be on betting against Ronaldo scooping the award for the third consecutive season.