A look at Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's Majboot Pakad on the Ballon d'Or award
How the Argentine and Portuguese have made a duopoly on the Ballon d'Or.
The Ballon d'Or is the most coveted individual award in world football currently and Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo have duo-polised the award in the recent past. From 2008 to 2017, there has been an unbreakable bond between the Ballon d'Or and Messi and Ronaldo, with each of them having won the award five times.
It is not just coincidence that the two of them have dominated club football over the last decade, with their individual brilliance on the field playing a big part in their teams' successes. During this time frame, Barcelona have won the league title six times, the Copa del Rey five times and the Champions League thrice. Real Madrid have themselves won the Champions League thrice, including becoming the first team to win it two years in a row, apart from winning the league title and Copa del Rey twice.
What has stood out the most during the last decade has been the consistency with which Ronaldo and Messi have performed. Their biggest aid in the pursuit to becoming the best footballers in the world has been their consistent goalscoring. The duo have elevated their performances consistently and taken over the biggest of stages with their play.
Some of the Barcelona man's achievements are really unbelievable and the numbers are just mind boggling. With 369 goals, the Argentine is the highest scorer in La Liga history, more than 70 goals ahead of the next name on the list, which happens to be Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi also holds the record for most goals in a La Liga season with 50 in the 2011/12 season. He has also set the record for most goals in one European season with 73 in the same season and scored 91 goals in the calendar year 2012. One glance at these numbers tells us that Lionel Messi plays with inhuman consistency and has rightfully been called the “greatest of all time" by many of his contemporaries for his achievements.
A look at Cristiano Ronaldo's numbers indicates that he has been on a constant journey of self-improvement. Always spurred by the act of scoring goals, Ronaldo has the most hat-tricks in La Liga history, showing his knack of being in the right position at the right time, despite not being a conventional striker. With most goals across the top five European Leagues in history, the Portuguese captain has shown he is ruthless when presented with a chance to score. The leading goalscorer in the Champions League with 114 and the European Championships with 29, his ability to take both club and country to famous wins is distinctive.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have won all that there is to win in club football and yet are spurred on every season to better themselves because of their rivalry and obsession with winning. Each season, they had added another facet to their game and made themselves a tougher proposition for opponents to deal with. The Argentine's playmaking combined with his ability to score regularly make him possibly the greatest ever to have played the game, while the Portuguese's incessant drive to score goals and will to win make him one of the greatest goalscorers ever.
Both of them have been blessed with important characteristics like pace and power, the ability to dribble past opponents, great vision in the case of Messi, incredible physical strength in the case of Ronaldo, and of course, impeccable finishing skills and mental strength. However, it is the hard work they put on the training ground that has been the key to their improvement every season and why even after 10 years, they are dominating all individual honours in world football.
Their Majboot Jod with the Ballon d'Or can be better understood by one incredible stat that helps understand their ruthlessness and desire for perfection the best. Cristiano Ronaldo averages 1.04 goals per league game compared to Lionel Messi's average of 0.92 goals per league game, incredible numbers considering they have played close to 700 matches between them. That shows their single-minded dedication to do their best for their clubs and continue to improve individually, and that is what makes them the best currently and two of the greatest players to have ever played the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the last two Ballon d'Or trophies and his fans would love nothing better than him to make it 3 in a row and edge ahead of Messi. You could actually hear them screaming, "Pakde Rehna, Chhodna Nahi" (Keep hold of the Ballon d'Or, don't let it go)!