Whether it was Argentinean talisman Diego Maradona or Brazilian veteran Pele, the pulsating game of football has witnessed many players etching their names in the history books as legends in different eras of the sport. Their long-range screamers got us on our feet, while the penalties they missed left us teary-eyed.
But, football as a sport has rapidly evolved over the years with the ever-increasing level of competition demanding the best from athletes. And, in the modern era, no one has managed to dominate the game the way Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have for almost a decade now.
Sharing one of the fiercest rivalries on the pitch, both Ronaldo and Messi have raised the bar to such a level where others – irrespective of their personal feats – seem just mediocre. If Ronaldo scores 50-odd goals in a single season, Messi goes on to make it 60 next year. When Messi hits a brace for Barcelona, Ronaldo can’t help but pull off a hat-trick for Real Madrid.
Their never-ending battle to reign supreme witnesses new records being created, only to get shattered by them. And, the fact that they share nine Ballon d’Or awards between them shows the level of competition the pair brings to the game. While Messi staked his claim as the best with five Ballon d’Or awards, Ronaldo has been hot on his heels with four wins of his own.
With this year’s Ballon d’Or awards scheduled to be announced on 7th December, the football fraternity is anxious to determine whether Ronaldo can draw level with Messi, making it five wins apiece, or will it be the Argentine who’d extend his tally of the coveted award.
However, if the recent reports are to be believed, Ronaldo has reportedly been selected as this year’s winner which means he will walk out of the prestigious awards ceremony with his fifth win next month. And, elated to find himself the winner, Ronaldo even made a secret phone call to Messi to tell him that he has won the award this year.
According to Spanish newpaper Don Balon, the Real Madrid star called Messi to inform him about the same, ahead of next month’s awards ceremony. Despite being fierce rivals on the pitch, both the players share mutual respect off it which is why Ronaldo’s call to the Argentine has been interpreted out of respect, with Messi, too, congratulating him on his achievement.
The latest reports come in the wake of a leaked screenshot of the front cover of the France Football magazine – which runs the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony – that featured Messi with the award. While many believed Messi would go on to clinch his sixth Ballon d’Or this year, reports of the Spanish newspaper has made us believe otherwise.
Many would label their duel as two superstars chasing personal glory, but for those who are smitten by the beautiful game; this year’s Ballon d’Or could very well take the rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi to a new level.
Whether you’re a fan or not, Ronaldo’s win next month (if there’s one) will not only help him draw level with his rival, but it could also mean that 2018 will be a close-fought battle between the two – eventually bringing out their best and blessing football with their mercurial displays of talent.
Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Source of news : Mensxp