Ridiculous Rumour of the Day: Messi is furious because Ronaldo is favourite for Ballon d'Or
An article in France Football magazine on Ronaldo apparently annoyed Messi.
Today’s ridiculous rumour of the day is brought to you by the ever-reliable Express. Of course, it’s not entirely their report but a loosely translated version of a report on *drum roll* Spanish outlet Don Balon – the bastion of truth and integrity in the world of European football *drum roll abruptly stops*.
According to the “report” – that inconveniently sits among other breaking news such as supermodels going topless or supermodels stripping naked – Barcelona star Lionel Messi is “furious” because he has found out that Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is in “pole position to win the Ballon d’Or this season”.
Now, here’s something we have learned about Don Balon – any so-called reports originating from this outlet should be taken with a pinch of salt. Of course, you should probably use your entire fist to take said ‘pinch’ of salt.
We all know that Messi currently leads Ronaldo in the race for most Ballon d’Or awards in history. The Argentine has won it five times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015) while Ronaldo has won it four times (2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016).
The award is decided by France Football magazine where respected football journalists (no, not the ones who work at Don Balon) vote for the best player over the past year. One must wonder why it is awarded for the calendar year rather than at the end of a season in Europe (this will be important later).
The story that supposedly infuriated Messi
The magazine’s latest issue has Ronaldo on the cover with the question ‘Who can beat him?’ alluding to the Ballon d’Or. Here’s a tweet from the same magazine.
Translation: Read in France Football this week, who can beat Cristiano Ronaldo in the race to the Ballon d’Or 2017?
According to Express, this story has “rankled Messi”. We’ve been trying to figure out what Messi may have done in response to the story – assuming he is fluent in French and also subscribes to the magazine.
a) Did he crumple it up in a fit of rage?
b) Did he then furiously kick it out of the window (through the top corner)?
c) Did he tear out the cover page and paste it on his bathroom mirror – as a constant reminder and source of motivation to beat Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or?
Unfortunately, Express refused to divulge these important details.
Who knows, Ronaldo could win the Ballon d’Or if Real Madrid win La Liga (currently tied with Barcelona with a game in hand) and the Champions League (they’ve reached the final and will play Juventus). The fact is that it’s not a foregone conclusion yet.
And that’s only half of 2017 so far. There’s still the first half of next season to play – enough time for Messi to break more records and give himself every chance.
The report also states that Ronaldo has scored 35 goals in this campaign – conveniently ignoring Messi’s 51 goals. But then that’s not what matters, does it? The Ballon d’Or is decided on the performances in the calendar year and not an entire season.
Messi feels ‘Barcelona are holding him back’
This is where the report enters a grey area between truth and fiction. It says: “Messi is supposedly unhappy that Barcelona's inconsistent campaign is affecting his own chances of winning individual accolades.”
While the fans love to pick between Ronaldo and Messi, that is not what they live for. Both players have said before that it’s the media that loves to create a personal rivalry between the two and fighting for the Ballon d’Or is obviously not Messi’s priority.
The report then claims: “The Argentina international reportedly thinks the additions of the likes of Jeremy Mathieu have made them a laughing stock.”
Really? The addition of Jeremy Mathieu? Who was signed in 2014? The defender who helped Barcelona win the treble with crucial goals (such as the one in a 2-1 win in El Clasico)? The same Mathieu whose goals were as important as Messi’s that season?
Yes, he has been poor this season but his addition to the squad three years ago could never be construed as an act that made the club a laughing stock!
The report also claimed: “Luis Enrique's tactical decisions have held the Catalan giants back this term.”
Only in Europe, maybe? There’s no shame in losing to this Juventus side. Barcelona are still top of La Liga. Besides, why would he complain now that it is certain that Enrique is leaving in the summer?
Didn’t Enrique’s tactics help them top La Liga (for the time being) with a win in El Clasico? Aren’t they still in with a chance of a double with the Copa del Rey final against Alaves to come?
In football today, there’s nothing we can do to stop rumours. Transfer stories dominate our headlines but there’s usually no smoke without fire. But this is simply taking it to another level altogether.
Besides, accomplishing the treble could possibly see Juventus skipper and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon lift the Ballon d’Or, no? Or will that “rankle” them both?