At club levels, players across the globe, including Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo did not do enough to win the coveted award. Messi was incontrovertibly the best individual player in La Liga but FC Barcelona slumped to 3rd place, Behind league winners, Atlético de Madrid, and, second placed Real Madrid C.F.. He won Barcelona’s 31st Copa del Rey, scoring a brace on the night but still, that was not enough to win a Ballon D’Or. Ronaldo on the other hand would sweep Serie A’s top scorer’s award and the Coppa Italia. That was not enough to win a Ballon D’Or either.
The ball was now in the court of the rest, especially Robert Lewandowski, but whose dream also ended with an injury. In deed, at that point, there was no clear favorite, until N'Golo Kanté as well as Kevin De Bruyne’s exploits in the latter stages of the Uefa Champions League presented them as ‘near-favorites’.
Two major international tournaments then widened the net — - bringing back the colossus - Messi and Ronaldo into contention. N’Golo or Kevin still also had the opportunity to cement their loose-grips. The former had an average tournament and the latter showed not much to deserve the award. Ronaldo could only manage to be top scorer of the Euros, hence, with little chance to win the award.
Messi, who was still shouldering the Argentina national team in the Copa America tournament was presented with a huge opportunity - especially given the trophy would be his first ever major senior international trophy. The world cheered him, bar some opposing fans. He knew what those cheers meant and he knew what winning the trophy for his nation meant all the more. With passion, like none we have seen of him before, he led Argentina to the finals through outstanding performances and a solid team display against Brazil made him what the world of football had longed. Remember he was the outstanding player in that tournament, scooping both play-making and scoring awards.
He broke the jinx, broke the curse and lifted a major senior international trophy with pride. By this, he has walked his fatigued and aging boots to the hall where he now stands alone as he was crowned the best footballer of the year for seventh time last night by France Football.
Content created and supplied by: Kumbundoo (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More