Ballon d'Or 2019: Why Cristiano Ronaldo might win a record sixth Ballon d'Or this year and what could stop him
When we talk about the major contenders for Ballon d'Or, it's extremely hard to keep someone like Cristiano Ronaldo out. Ronaldo, along with his great rival Lionel Messi, has dominated the individual award for the last decade, winning it five times.
This time around albeit, Ronaldo faces tough competition from Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi. The 34-year-old has endured his worst goal-scoring return since his final season at Old Trafford, scoring just 28 goals for his club in all competitions.
Despite his struggles, the poster boy won the Serie A and the Italian Supercup with Juventus. Not to mention, he captained Portugal to UEFA Nations League triumph too. As evident from the past, it will be extremely stupid to rule someone like Ronaldo out so early. The sharpshooter himself admitted that since he has won three trophies, there should be no reason why he can't lift the coveted trophy.
Here we take a look at the reasons why the Portuguese talisman could or could not win a record sixth Ballon d'Or.
Why he might win
Since arriving in Turin last summer, Ronaldo has taken Italian top flight by storm. The Portuguese star's arrival had a massive impact on the Bianconeri and Ronaldo took no time to become the most crucial player for his team.
Ronaldo helped Juventus win their eighth consecutive Serie A title with 21 goals in the League. Owing to his brilliance, Ronaldo won the Serie A Player of the Year award and he also helped his team win the Italian Super Cup.
In the Champions League, Ronaldo netted all of Juventus' knockout goals. His sensational hat-trick against Atletico Madrid single-handedly took the Old Lady to the quarter-finals. Despite scoring against Ajax in the both legs of Quarter-finals, he failed to take his side over the line.
Ronaldo ended his campaign in a bright note as he helped Portugal win UEFA Nations League. Making his debut in the semi-finals, he scored a sublime hat-trick against Switzerland.
Although he was kept relatively quiet by Dutch defenders in the final, Ronaldo's impact on the pitch and leadership can never be undervalued.
If Ronaldo makes a strong start in the 2019/20 season, he will surely make his case more strong in the race for Ballon d'Or.
Why he might not win
Perhaps, there are only two names who can claim the Ballon d'Or, if not Ronaldo - Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk.
In the recently concluded campaign, Messi once again proved to be a class apart. The Blaugrana captain won his sixth European Golden Shoe and Pichichi award. He was also the top scorer in the Champions League as well.
With Copa America left to be played for, Messi's powerful displays for Argentina can make it difficult for anyone else to win the individual award.
On the other hand, van Dijk remains the overwhelming favorite due to his successful campaign in Europe with Liverpool. Moreover, Liverpool had the best defensive record in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, as they conceded just 22 goals.
As evident, Champions League triumph plays a massive role in the Ballon d'Or and Van Dijk has cemented his place as arguably best defender in the world currently for his brilliance.