In the recently concluded Ballon d'Or ceremony, Luka Modric scooped up the prize while Cristiano Ronaldo stood 2nd and Lionel Messi was placed in 5th position. Kudos to Modric, but did he really deserve the award or was Ronaldo just robbed of it?
According to France Football, the Ballon d'Or is awarded based on the following:
1. Individual and collective performances (winners) during the year.
2. Player class (talent and fair play).
3. Player's career.
Modric scored twice and assisted another eight in 43 games last season for Real Madrid. In Croatian colors, he scored two and assisted one. He captained his country at the World Cup and carried his team all the way to the final where they lost to France.
However, it was his jaw-dropping performances in those ‘7’ matches that left all spectators in awe. To judge a midfielder’s performance by his stats surely isn’t right but you can’t just discard them while assessing the winner of a trophy like the Ballon d'Or.
On the other hand, Ronaldo had a total of 44 goals and eight assists in 43 games for his club. Ronaldo also struck four times in the World Cup including a hat-trick against Spain. The Portuguese forward who recently signed for Juventus has 11 goals and six assists in 18 games to his name this season, and for a player to accomplish anything close to this at the age of 33 is unimaginable.
Last season, Ronaldo and Modric both won the Champions League and the Club World Cup with Real Madrid. While the Croatian reached the final of the World Cup Ronaldo’s Portugal got knocked out in the round-of-16 in Russia.
So, why has Modric been so severely criticised for winning the award?
For starters, he couldn’t replicate his spectacular form for Croatia at the club level, performing well but not close to Ballon d’Or-worthy. So was the award given to Modric based on those seven games in Russia, because clearly Ronaldo bettered the Croatian in all aspects of the game throughout the season? What Modric did in seven matches, Ronaldo did across the season in 44 matches.
Additionally, in 2010, when Lionel Messi won the same award, Spanish legend Andres Iniesta was also nominated along with midfield partner Xavi. Messi’s stats made him stand above the rest, but the other two players nominated had won the World Cup that very year.
To make his case stronger, Iniesta also scored the winning goal in the final of the same tournament. He also helped his club Barcelona win La Liga the previous year in addition to three other trophies: the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and also the Copa del Rey.
What do you think of Modric's win? Was it unfair to the two greats of the game Xavi and Iniesta? Was Ronaldo ‘robbed’ of his 6th Ballon d'Or crown; something he truly deserved? Let us know in the comments below.