Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two greats of this generation. No era has seen such dominance by a pair of players in football. 10 years. 10 years duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d'Or, the award given to the best player in the world.
Time and time again, throughout the past decade, certain players put up the performance of their lives, making a breakthrough in the world of football. Only to fall short. Leo and Ron have such a stronghold on the award, no one has come close to making a case for winning it, other than these two, over the past decade.
However, times are changing. For the first time in 10 years, it looks like the duopoly will finally be broken. Ron and Leo have had a poor season, by their standards. This is success-wise, not performance only. One can easily argue that winning the Ballon d’Or requires winning trophies, perhaps more than being exceptional on the field.
Here are 4 reasons, why Ron and Leo will finally have to give up the toy they have shared for the past decade-
#1 Dismissal World Cup Campaigns
Lionel Messi for Argentina’s subpar world cup performance. Nevertheless, he was a part of the team which failed to deliver. He missed a crucial penalty in the first match, and couldn’t make much impact in the game against Croatia. He did score a crucial goal against Nigeria in sublime style, but looked far from his usual best. In the last match of their campaign, he tried everything he could, but unfortunately, Argentina were not good enough. Messi Wasn't good enough.
Cristiano Ronaldo might have had a good world cup statistically, but he too was, far from the beast he is for Real Madrid in the UCL. Again, it might be unfair to expect the same performances as Portugal doesn't have the quality Real Madrid has. But for a player with the caliber of Ronaldo, he should have been better.
Ron opened his campaign with a stunning performance. But that's it. In the second match, apart from a great header, Ron looked lackluster. In the third match against Iran, he couldn't do much. A clueless performance in the quarter-finals meant Portugal couldn't manage to beat a clinal and rock solid Uruguay.
Leo and Cristiano are not the sole reason their countries failed to deliver. But they are one of the reasons.