Ballon d'Or awards: What's the point?
Cristiano Ronaldo was named world player of the year for the second time, following his initial 2008 success.
January 13th, 2014
07:27 PM ET

Ballon d'Or awards: What's the point?

By James Masters

The two greatest players in a generation – a host of conspiracy theories and an award ceremony which will lead to yet more debate over which man really rules the world.

As the football world converged on the Swiss city of Zurich on Monday, the cynical could be excused for rolling their eyes at another mind-numbingly dull FIFA ceremony – sorry “gala” - which appeared to last half a lifetime.

The awkward interviews, the pre-rehearsed throwaway lines and the pictures of delegates fighting furiously to stay awake are all part of the production.

Forget that the winner has actually been known since November 29 – the show must be dragged out in such a painful fashion that it becomes a moment of relief when the envelope is finally prised open.

Then the world shakes its head, says “Well, that was obvious” and gets back to doing whatever it had been doing.

Read: Tearful Ronaldo wins 2013 Ballon d'Or award

The Ballon d’Or itself, a competition which names the best player in the world over the past year, has been in existence since 1956 when it was won by the evergreen English winger Stanley Matthews, then aged 41.

This year, once again, it was a matter of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – both of whom believe they have legitimate complaints over the way the entire competition has been handled.

Messi, and the unfortunate Franck Ribery, who in any other year may have won this award, will point to the rather questionable decision by organizers to extend the period of voting by two weeks.

The original deadline for voting was November 15 – and yet, in a highly controversial move, FIFA and France Football Magazine, the original guardian of the award, broke with tradition and allowed voters more time.

That the move came on the day Ronaldo’s hugely impressive hat-trick for Portugal secured his nation’s place at the 2014 World Cup was presumably just a coincidence.

Just hours earlier, Ribery had been favorite – only to have his hopes dashed as voters scrambled to change their votes based on Ronaldo’s heroics and matches played in those extra two weeks.

FIFA says it extended the deadline as only 50% of those eligible to vote had done so – that figure rose to 88% following an extra fortnight, though they’ll be facing a challenge to convince those in Catalonia and Munich.

The "short list" of Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery (all paraded in front of the media before the ceremony) is a charade - the winner was decided weeks ago, there was no further voting after the "cut" was made.

And yet, does anybody really care? Do the fans care? Are people bothered?

In 2001 when Michael Owen won the award, his then manager at Liverpool, Gerard Houllier, had to take him aside and educate him on the gravitas which comes with such an honor.

Owen was blasé about the entire episode, perhaps not realizing the esteem in which the award is held outside of the United Kingdom.

In Spain they care – not that a Spaniard has won the award since Luis Suarez in 1960. Instead it is factional – it’s about how many times has a Real player has won the award compared with nemesis Barcelona.

That the two main protagonists on this occasion represent the clubs which have endured such a bitter rivalry for years adds an extra dimension to the result.

Victory for the Real Madrid star is far sweeter given he has not won the award since 2008, when still at Manchester United, and has played second fiddle to Messi for the past four years.

On top of that, there was the nonsense in October with FIFA president Sepp Blatter apparently mocking Ronaldo during a talk at England's Oxford University and championing Messi’s cause.

Blatter gave a bizarre on-stage impersonation of Ronaldo, calling him “a commander on the field of play” and added that he spent “a lot more time at the hairdresser’s.”

He went on to refer to Messi as a “good boy” and stated: “I like them both, but I prefer Messi.”

The comments sparked outrage in Madrid, where the club accused Blatter – who is an honorary member of Real – of bias towards its greatest rival, Barcelona, while Ronaldo was similarly hurt by the Swiss.

Blatter was condemned by Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, president Florentino Perez and by the player himself, while Barcelona was incensed that the voting period had been extended.

Blatter had seemingly done the impossible – he had united Spain’s top clubs. Unfortunately, that unity came about through a mutual hostility towards FIFA.

Then there’s Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who claimed that Ribery wouldn’t win, reportedly telling Munich newspaper Abendzeitung that it “doesn’t suit one or two people’s plans that FC Bayern win everything.”

Club rivalry, personal bias, cronyism – it’s all there in abundance when it comes to the voting process.

The vote is supposed to crown the best player in the world as a winner and while it succeeds – Raul’s failure in 2001 aside – there is evidence of coaches voting for their own players and players rewarding friends.

An open vote means everyone gets to see – conclusions can be easily drawn from there.

Messi didn’t even place Ronaldo in his top three last year or this time – though there aren’t three better players in the world than him, four given that Messi can’t vote for himself.

Then there is Germany coach Joachim Low, who last year inexplicably left both Ronaldo and Messi out of his top three, instead voting for Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer, both members of his national side. This year Low didn't vote at all – though Germany captain Philipp Lahm went for his Bayern clubmate Ribery ahead of Ronaldo.

Messi’s Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella voted for his star player and, unlike last year when he ignored Ronaldo completely, put the Real Madrid forward third. Portugal coach Paulo Bento omitted Messi from his top three.

Of course, this is an open and democratic vote, but it’s difficult to take it seriously when it’s blighted by accusations of cronyism.

Then there is the discussion on how you even calculate what is meant by the "best player in the world."

Take Messi, an undoubted genius, a man who has produced feats of magic beyond most ordinary human beings – but surely his success depends on the quality which surrounds him.

Would he be able to showcase such skills without Xavi and Andres Iniesta in midfield or Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol ensuring the defense remained tightly shut?

Could he repeat those scintillating bursts and sumptuous strikes in a lesser side? Would his goals count just as much if the standard of his team's defense was of a more porous nature?

It is, of course, all hypothetical – nobody will ever agree on who is the greatest to have played the game, the Pele vs. Diego Maradona debate still rages to this very day.

And that is why this award, is on the whole, rather superfluous.

Ronaldo may have won on this occasion but that does not persuade the public that he is a better player than Messi – he has enjoyed a more successful year but would he have won had the Argentine been free of injuries?

Would Ronaldo have lifted the trophy if Messi had been anywhere near his physical peak? The answer is probably no.

As pleasing as personal triumphs are, nobody who really knows their football will look at how many times a player won this trophy as a primary indicator of their career success.

Instead, they will look at league titles, World Cups, domestic cups, international caps, goals scored. There are a whole host of categories to be examined before the words “Ballon” and “d’Or” even creep into the consciousness.

Both Messi and Ronaldo will go down in history as great players, but the debate as to who was the greatest will continue to rage for years to come.

Have your say in the comments box below or at @WorldSportCNN and on Facebook.

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Joao

    Cristiano Ronaldo is by far better than Messi.

    Messi has a fantastic left foot and that is all. Ronaldo has right foot, left foot, strengh, velocity, head, the guy has everything!

    January 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      and you came from Portugal to say this.

      January 14, 2014 at 12:40 am | Reply
      • Jay

        hala madrid

        January 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
      • MadridKilla

        Penaldo's sportsmanship sucks.. well, there isn't one. He is full of himself in every way and very arrogant.
        Messi on the other hand is humble and creates chances and is by far a better player.
        Cristina needs to get rid of his primadonna act..it's getting annoying

        February 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
    • byngmikhail

      Great Article James. You guys could check out this one as well: http://poorboyspaper.weebly.com/article-why-messi-fans-could-take-consolation-in-the-fact-that-ronaldo-won-the-ballon-dor.html

      The coming World Cup would be a great opportunity to clarify this debate!

      January 14, 2014 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • amirreza

        every one in the entire world know that messi is better and uncomparisionably better than the stupid haircut guy! not to mention Messi is 3 years younger than Ronaldo messi is just considered as the best player and a wellbehaved one as well so I think every body knows who is the best so lets just dry the tears of jeliousy just like the way the lucky,crazy footballer Ronaldo did.and by the way you know why he cried when the golden ball was given to him?obviously because he knows its the first and last time that he will have it.

        February 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
    • Lucky Number se7en

      You only, saying that, because you are portuguese, put your facts straight.. Ronaldo Is an incredible player, and he trains hard to be who he is.. but messi is gifted.. U saying only left great foot?? go search, pleasee.. Head?? remember what Messi did to Man United in 2009, with a 2-0 score with is head, even ferdinand (twice his height ) couldnt jump so far. YET AGAIN Ronaldo is a fantastic player.. so dont say he is FAR BETTER PLAYER.. maybe when Ronaldo wins 4 ballon d'or, maybe Yeah they'll be tied up, and we will see.. Ronaldo is 28, MESSI IS 26... FYI..thank you.. THEY ARE BOTH UNBELIEVABLE PLAYER.. I'D LOVE TO SEE THEM PLAY IN THE SAME TEAM... thanks..

      January 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Reply
      • Formoso

        there are only two world class players i have seen in my life time-PELE, CRISTIANO. the others like Maradona ,messi ,Cryuff,do come close but they could perform only when the team played to its potential

        March 23, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • Guillermo

      Well I don´t usually argue over this issues since I believe that it doesn´t make any sense. However, this time I am entitled to reply your comment over this issue, Lionel Messi is the best player of the world because he can play in different three positions on the pitch.

      January 17, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • jajaa jijiji

      The short will always always be the best today tomorrow and in the history of football in the usa in europe and in latin american Cristiano will always be second best at this point I say even Luis Suarez is second and CR7 is third oh yes real madrid is in 3rd place after spending 100 Euros in Bale.

      February 3, 2014 at 4:41 am | Reply
      • ronaldoooooooo!!!

        bru madrid is number 1 in la liga which is why barca lost to real socidad really who losses to them

        February 25, 2014 at 2:09 am |
    • rock

      but just no iq

      March 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • etc

      The greatest players to have played the game, along with the greatest managers have repeatedly said that in terms of creativity, Messi is miles above Ronaldo. Cristiano is simply a great goalscorer, you know that perhaps 3 out of 5 balls he receives in the 18 yard box will be a goal. Messi not only has always scored more goals than Ronaldo until his injury, he also creates goals just as Xavi an Iniesta do...not to mention his dribbling abilities, his vision and the unique, I would say ability to change pace and run past defenders as if they weren't there. People always say Messi has Xavi and Iniesta, and that Ronaldo is a winger not a CF...La Liga viewers know that Ronaldo is almost always in front of goal, calling for the ball, and above all, EVERYONE is looking for him, whereas at Barca, anyone can score, theire game is based on being unpredictable.

      March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • Alex K

      CR7 is in the same league a sIbrahimovich, Robben, Ribbery and a host of other great players. Messi is light years ahead of Ronaldo in talent. Only Real fans and portuguese keep raving on about how CR7 is better than Messi. Complete crap. Most his goals are tap in or one on one situations where he has blitzed past one or two defenders with sheer pace. Ibrahimovic scores screamers week in week out. I would have to agree with the author , that if Messi wasn't hampered by injury he propably would have won again. Ronaldo's second and last award. Fifa wanted to make amends for Blatter hairdresser comments and the sulk is now feeling better.

      March 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Maybe this year he was, although Messi missed a bunch of games.

      April 6, 2014 at 5:21 am | Reply
  2. Joao

    James, your article is so biased that you should consider asking Argentina to give you a passport and double nationality.

    January 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Reply
    • Leonor Correia de Matos

      I agree, João. Where are the impartial journalists of this world ? Some people just hate to loose ...Cheers Ronaldo ! The VERY BEST !

      January 14, 2014 at 12:20 am | Reply
    • George

      This coming from a guy called Joao, which is clearly portuguese. So stop talking about bias...same goes for the guy bellow me. Messi is clearly better. Ronaldo is a good football player but a horrible narcissist, he is in love with himself, he made a museum about him. You have to be sick to do that.

      January 14, 2014 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • Lucky Number se7en

        thank you... GEORGE

        January 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
      • Cesarioum Victor

        Ronaldo the best! The best player haver no the pitch!
        Portucalen Victor!!!
        Aprendam a falar Português e talvez possam comentar melhor! Alea jacta est!

        February 17, 2014 at 10:04 am |
    • sandor

      cr-7 is a good player, that is a fact bu messi is a small god for football. his ballon d'or given o ronaldo is just in case of consolation, the guy has been suffering a long time to get it and because messi was and is still the best he couldn't get it. He is just lucky that Messi got injured. Anyway CR-7 is good but Messi is the best.

      January 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • Lioncorr

        east is da best...no west is da best

        March 26, 2014 at 4:39 am |
      • cos

        really its a coincidence that he scored a hat trick during the game vs sweden. You know how likely it was that Ronaldo who always scores hattricks scored a hattrick against the swedes and did Riberys team do good that day. Not really. Wothout Laurent Blanc France isn't that strong as a side and theyre not that strong in general with the lack of nasri and Matuidi to work dynamically well and oh just stick in Ben Arfa hes fast right. Next time you right an article about soccer don't state the obvious which everybody was already talking about and just don't right an article about soccer.

        April 3, 2014 at 1:41 am |
  3. omae

    Messi , the best!!!

    January 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  4. SALAU

    Good as when the Ballon dor was won by CR7. The question now is that let Messi also try another league whether he will perform.

    January 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Reply
  5. Ali Zaman

    There can never be a perfect system for evaluating and arriving at the answer for best player of the year. It is highly subjective and insofar as processes go the current system is not bad at all. Yes there may be biases involved in the voting system but they in all likelihood net out and given the total number of votes Involved dont really have any impact on the outcome Thus all in all it is not a bad way to arrive at the best player of the year.

    January 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  6. Cynical

    What Ronaldo really achieved, besides the two play-off matches ? Did he win any trophy? He should thank to the great fuss created by the Spanish media and his club's PR power. If a "Golden Ball" may be won like that, i.e over two matches, I know more than hundred players who deserve...

    January 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • gerry

      U don, t even know how to analize football.Ronaldo won balon d'or because of individual effort.Tell Leo Messi to taste another different football league, before you will equate him with Ronaldo.Messi has spent 10 yrs in Barcelona fc.It is time for him to change club, so tha thet world will know his quality.10 yrs always with xavi hernandez and Iniesta what a shame.I want to ask you question Cynical.Is leo messi afraid to leave Barcelona?

      January 14, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Reply
      • Robook

        If it is for individual efforts i would rather watch tennis. And Ronaldo should be a tennis player. Football is a team game. Ronaldo may be great, but hes unable to bring Portugal Team forward. Rivery deserves the title. And Fifa? i would tell it to the marines.

        January 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
      • Linda

        Messi cannot succeed without xavi and iniesta.

        February 9, 2014 at 5:45 am |
      • Nana .

        If it is individual effort then i think your best player CR7 would have won all the trophies in Spain and the world cups too.Football is not an individual game is a team.if you also believe that CR7 is better without good players around him ,then tell him to join Queens Park Rangers , Almeria or Granada

        February 22, 2014 at 8:52 am |
  7. Shiraz

    Ronaldo is the best he succeeded in England & Spain , Messi had not won in EPL

    January 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • MadridKilla

      EPL? you serious?

      February 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      ...and he's one heck of a hetrosexual too.

      April 6, 2014 at 5:25 am | Reply
  8. K. Kelly

    MVP. What's the point? Stupid article.

    January 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  9. Louis Lazare

    Too obviously the jornalist doesn't like Ronaldo. His problem...

    January 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Reply
    • amirreza

      misses world isn't it right the fact is ......oh sorry the problem is that the one who wrote the article is a professional and that's when the famous quote comes by and says the reality and truth is bitter! isn't it?

      February 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  10. Pinaki Mazumder

    Soccer thrives in controversies and FIFA fuels debate, skepticism, and skirmishes between hardcore fans to perpetuate the buzz about soccer. While other sports use video replay and scientific data to ascertain fairness and eliminate any resentments their fans may harbor, soccer does just the opposite to lure in UN secretary general, presidents and premieres of countries of all sizes and soccer prowess to join in the simmering controversies (e.g., the handball from inside the goal by soccer superstar Luis Suarez to prevent Ghana from toppling his country, Uruguay in World Cup in 2010 in the dying minute had even elicited criticisms from Koffi Annan and Bill Clinton). Therefore, the fans will never stop making rows in anything related to soccer no matter how the awards are adjudicated, rules are ratified and electronic eyes are allowed to aid match officials.

    January 13, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  11. Diego

    I think that CNN should had given a massage to this guy before he wrote down his thoughs. A perfect example of how a bad loser reacts...

    January 14, 2014 at 12:04 am | Reply
  12. rui amorim

    eheheh in the end, Ronaldo will never be the best!! What he needs to do to deserve this title??!?
    I need to smile, because if people can make this kind of criticis... I can see they are not good enought to make me believe in this opinions.
    i already saw Messi desserve this title, and now I see again Ronaldo win with his strengh, skills, velocity, smile...
    And I don't have nothing wrong to say to Messi.
    Let's wait for other year... and enjoy the footbal of these both geniuos.
    PS: about Ribery – I can see World Cup wthout Ribery, but was not the same if were missing CR7 and Messi. This is the difference!

    January 14, 2014 at 12:10 am | Reply
  13. Dan

    "Would Ronaldo have lifted the trophy if Messi had been anywhere near his physical peak?"

    Dumbest question I've heard in sports in awhile. The award was for 2013, the real 2013, not some hypothetical one.

    January 14, 2014 at 12:13 am | Reply
  14. Tapha

    MESSI N°1
    C. RONALDO N°2. Period.
    No need for debate

    January 14, 2014 at 12:38 am | Reply
  15. L&M

    I would take Ronaldo over Messi in any day of the week.

    January 14, 2014 at 2:23 am | Reply
    • Simao

      Take where? to the nail salon?

      February 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • CSnoopy

        No, he meant his bedroom.

        February 12, 2014 at 9:19 am |
  16. Dele

    You might as well go play for Barcelona or Argentina. Such a disgusting article.

    January 14, 2014 at 4:57 am | Reply
  17. Andrew

    Ronaldo, Messi and Ribery did perform brilliantly in 2013 But Ronaldo's deserved to win because of his pivotal role in his coutry qualification for the World cup for me that was the jaw breaker. Congratulations to C. Ronaldo and to FIFA for awarding it to the true best Player.

    January 14, 2014 at 5:32 am | Reply
    • iyke jerry.

      You think Ronaldo deserve as you claimed and state it, why does he wait until play off which means second chance to qualify his country for world cup, when other great players had qualified since and rest even before the qualify matches end. why doesn't him lead his country to win the group and qualify one hand instead of play off/second chance. had it been no second chance Portugal world cup would have been a history by now. think well and twice before you make a comment.

      April 3, 2014 at 11:10 am | Reply
  18. munch

    theres no debate, messi is the better player by a long long way..hell 2 ronaldos still wouldnt be as good as a half fit messi

    January 14, 2014 at 8:32 am | Reply
  19. Ina

    Always use a debate that Messi only big in Spain, never won in EPL.............He beats Manchester United under Ferguson that holds the EPL titles.......................TWICE in Champion leagues

    January 14, 2014 at 10:12 am | Reply
  20. byngmikhail

    http://poorboyspaper.weebly.com/article-why-messi-fans-could-take-consolation-in-the-fact-that-ronaldo-won-the-ballon-dor.html. This is not a bad article at all.
    Statistically Ronaldo is inferior, should have never left Man United.

    January 14, 2014 at 10:38 am | Reply
  21. DM

    Being able to maintain yourself at your physical peak is also an attribute that should be considered when you are evaluating how good a player is. When you raise the question in your blog “would Ronaldo still win if Messi was at his physical peak” and go on to answer “probably no”, that just comes out wrong…

    “What if, what if, what it”.

    Ronaldo has played longer than Messi throughout his career and did that in two of the best leagues in the world, whereas Messi never left Barcelona – where he is overly protected. Despite both players being the main stars of their respective teams, there’s also a sense that Ronaldo has carried his team more than Messi, because obviously, the supporting cast is far better at Barcelona.

    Just take a look at both teams when they play without their stars… You’ll notice a big difference on Madrid.

    January 14, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
  22. Olly

    I can see the typical pedestrian Nigerian anti-Messi post claiming Messi'd not have succeeded if he played in anothet league. They said the same about Pep Guardiola (because of their love for Jose Maurinho), but they have all swallowed their jab. For me, i think this article is very fantastic and it has shown the moral, political and nationalistic sides of ballon d'or. It is really an eye opener and it has asked a vital question: what'd have happened if Messi was not injured and still performing at his peak considering the fact that CR7 was ok and performing optimally when Messi took d award? The question can only be answere by our creator Himself. For me, i think the biggest loser is Ribery because he just, unjustifiably, caught in the FIFA political web. If achievement is what really wins the ballon d'or, Frank Ribery, to me deserves more than both CR7 and Messi.

    January 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  23. Otobo

    Am really supprised at this one sided article. The writer is so bias towards CR 7. I think he was paid to do this article. There's no doubt about messi's abilities. The boy is good but when compared to CR 7 for the past year then even the blind will tell you CR 7 was better. Even if messi was 200% fit he stil wouldn't have been better than CR7. To ♍ƺ CR7 is the best i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ the world at the moment. He will still win it next year. If Messi leaves his comfort zone i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ barca and go to any other club outside spain and stil perform the I will rate him briliant. But untill then he's just a good player just like Suarez, aguero, etc.

    January 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • Linda

      perfect answer

      February 9, 2014 at 5:49 am | Reply
  24. Reality

    Please read and understand Otobo's analysis of the Messi Ronaldo who is better argument. . People with analytical minds think this way. If you dont, well you have a rock for a head!

    January 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  25. Louis

    This debate has been on for a while and will continue. Ronaldo merited the award and kudos must be given to him for being consistent. Messi should try his skill elsewhere and let the world see how he can perform. Ronaldo has an edge in this regard because he has been tested elsewhere. Kudos to these guys. Frank is on the waiting.

    January 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  26. Harry

    The trophy should be given to the best all around player and not the most goals scored. Look at statistics concerning passing, passes completed, assists, etc.
    Also rules should be changed so that a penalty kick must be done by the player fouled. How many goals did Ronaldo get because he is the one chosen by his manager to do the penalty kicks.

    January 14, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  27. Mentalidade

    "What if" I won a million bucks? I would be rich!

    Given you like hypothetical scenarios Mr. Masters, here is one for you:
    "What if" Messi was not surrounded by the best support players in the word, would he have still won the previous awards? The answer is we don't really know for sure because he has not proven himself elsewhere.

    Ronaldo already proved himself in the Spanish and English Leagues. plus for his country also. He is a complete player that makes the difference no matter where he goes -with or without strong supporting players.

    Let's also remember that Ronald is not a forwarder and yet he has the highest average of goals per games in the history of the Spanish League

    What if reporters tried to report the facts through out the year, without hints of biases? Would this also change the "good boy" and "bad boy" image and hence the outcome of the Ballon D'Or winner? the answer is most likely yes!

    January 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  28. Shapiro

    Do we really need to know who voted for which player? I think the whole issue can be respectable if the vote is secret.

    January 15, 2014 at 8:16 am | Reply
  29. eli

    mm,, messi done well, CR7 done well but is just time for CR7,,so good lucky,, messi is great and it operate in field with no mercy to any team,, either play 100 years in 1 team,, not our problem as long his service still need,, we want him and satisfy with him,, my question is that why CR7 also want go back to MAN U

    January 15, 2014 at 11:30 am | Reply
  30. footieknight

    Reblogged this on footieknight and commented:
    Biased as can be!

    January 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  31. sebastian mu

    real have never lucked world class players.they always goes for de best their money can buy.last five world records of expensive players have gone to real.question,WITH ALL THAT RONALD INCLUDED WHAT CAN THEY SHOW.barca with average players messi included as he come through de ranks from youth team have entertained de world,leave alone cabinets full of trophies.WHO WAS DE CHIEF OF STAFF ??? obviously who else other than de GREATEST ON PLANET EARTH .

    January 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  32. Reality

    Can not believe people are comparing Messi to anyone of this generation, the guy is on another level totally. To think that he almost picked up this award even thought he missed a third of the yearly playing time is pretty understandable for his standards.

    in 50 year people will ring Messi's name along with Maradona, Pele, Di stefano, Cruyff and Zidane. and if anyone mentioned Ronaldo it will probably ring around the memories of R9 the Brazilian Ronaldo.

    Cristiano is brilliant and in fact being the second best player of this era is pretty great considering the competition hes got. Messi was simply born to play Football, not just someone who worked hardest.

    January 16, 2014 at 4:42 am | Reply
    • Mentalidade

      "Can not believe people are comparing Messi to anyone of this generation, the guy is on another level totally." – I see a couple of problems with your statement.

      1) how can one be considered "the best in this generation" given he has NOT proven himself elsewhere?
      2) Why doesn't "the best in this generation" have a higher goals /games average than say Crist Ronaldo?
      3) why isn't "the best in this generation" not as complete to score with both feet, from the distance, headers, etc?

      January 18, 2014 at 6:02 am | Reply
  33. Ir.Zuhayr Rais

    Since Pele era I have been watching football closely till today, Messi & Ronaldo have different style by them, the class is there but for me frankly the best player would be Luis Suarez but I'm sorry for him cause the team he represent not in champions league. The other one would be Zlatan Ibrahimovic.....

    January 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  34. MAc

    I bow to you Oh Lord Christiano.

    January 20, 2014 at 8:15 am | Reply
  35. B Pereira

    Ronaldo beats Messi anyday, no contest whatsoever. Viva Ronaldo!

    January 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  36. The alentejana

    They are both great players with one difference, Ronaldo passes the ball to let his team mates score goals and Messi on the other hand has all the other players giving him the ball so that he can score. So much debate, so much hate, what for? Ronaldo got the Ballon D"or and that's the fact, Congratulations to the best player in the World!

    January 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  37. presh

    for the past four since messi n cr7 have met in CL football and in their leagues messi has proved to a better than cr7, so i don't see why some of u guys are jumping into conclusion that cr7 is better smh

    January 23, 2014 at 7:58 am | Reply
  38. MadridKilla

    Messi is by far the better player, and that's because he is not as arrogant and filled with estrogen as Cristina.
    Everytime Penaldo misses the goal, he makes this face as he wants to cry or is constipated..I don't get it...:)

    February 2, 2014 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  39. Shady

    Debating over a thing of the past is somewhat unreasonable... Why not talk of who's gonna be next world best... The deed has already been done...

    February 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  40. Linda

    Obviously, this guys are fantastic players. If messi is bold enough, he should try other low club. Maradona left Barcelona for Napoli to prove his worth. to be greatest, you need to be successful in diver's kind of things.

    February 9, 2014 at 5:55 am | Reply
  41. Newman

    Team winning championships are better and clear cos it's all about performance and result not the talent, who cares about talent if you don't perform.

    February 9, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  42. Jehr

    Please remind me...how many goals did Messi score in the last World Cup? Oh, that's right...ZERO. Playing with the likes of Iniesta, Xavi, etc. will up anyone's game. Messi doesn't play so well for Argentina, in fact Di Maria, Aguero, etc. actually outshine him when they play. On the other hand, Ronaldo does well wherever he plays, for club (multiple) and country, with or without good players. Messi is overrated.

    February 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  43. Deepak

    There's a tournament called UEFA Champions league which is better than any league in the world. Leonel Messi is the second highest scorer in that tournament only 5 goals behind Raul Gonzalez. You have to a real idiot to say Messi hasn't proven himself in any other leagues. Messi scores a lot of goals dribbling through 4 or 5 defenders and you say he is performing well because of Xavi and Iniesta mean while a lot of Ronaldo goals come from crosses and well timed passes. Messi is the only player who can be best striker as well as a best midfielder in the world because of his vision and precise passes and you say Ronaldo is more complete player.

    February 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  44. Anders Davoust

    Congrats Cristiano Ronaldo for getting world player of the year award. Undoubtedly he is the best player of the world. Though they have got tough competition from other players but still he managed to get award on their side.

    February 26, 2014 at 5:31 am | Reply
  45. Daniel

    In the world cup Messi will be playing on his home continent, so he will be performing better than Ronaldo who seldom travel out of cooler Europe, his home continent.

    February 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  46. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Hearty congratulations to Senhor Cristiano Ronaldo.

    March 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  47. Jones

    Foolish debate. Messi and Ronaldo-none is better than the other. the two have skills, talents, qualities, etc, that are different from each other. period!!!!! no more debate. the true winner of the ballon d or is football. by the way, that round thing is not real gold. do your research. so no fuss about it.

    March 6, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
  48. sofya

    i personally think that RONALDO is the best player. Ronaldo has a talent for soccer and it does not matter if he won the (Ballon d'O award) and by the way Ronaldo was crying because the award means alot to him because he worked hard to get this and it takes a real and true soccer player to win the award. Again i personally think Ronaldo will win the (Ballon d'O award) of 2015. In the world cup i bet you that real madrid will win in the FIFA 2014 world cup.

    March 13, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • Gianpiero

      Real Madrid doesn't participate to thw World Cup...You probably wanted to talk about Portugal..
      Real Madrid would probably win the Champions League 2014 if ronaldo will continue to perform like he is doing now.. :-)

      March 21, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  49. lebrecht hesse

    soccer is really going crazy....how can you say ronaldo is better than messi...what does ronaldo do that messi does not..is it scoring with both feet or the head...we should be realistic and say the truth...messi is far better than ronaldo...fifa cheated and sepp blatter wanted a way to say sorry that was why he extended the voting time,as if he knew ronaldo would perform very well withing those few weeks, but all in all even ronaldo himself knows that messi is better than him.........GO MESSSI

    March 20, 2014 at 9:53 am | Reply
  50. Gianpiero

    Ronaldo has having a better season than Messi..He deserves the Balon d'Or...

    March 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  51. John

    Messi is the best by far Ronaldo is the same player as he was at Manchester United a cheat who dives all over the pitch

    March 24, 2014 at 5:59 am | Reply
  52. Kelzang

    Messi is the greatest.............! Messi rules no matter what..!

    March 26, 2014 at 9:00 am | Reply
  53. Marilyn

    messi is and will always be the greatest player with or without ballon d'or. Messi has done something for Argentina by winning the under 20 worldcup on the other hand Cristiano has no trophy for Portugal. Check the charts and see the one with the most assist. If you say individually he is better than Messi then put him in a match against 11 and see. A team is a team and that means team work. Moving from one team to another doesn't prove anything. Cristiano left Manchester for Madrid where if they alaways buy players with big names. If that's the case he should by far outshine Messi but Messi always sets the target for him...Messi is simply the best as he has always been rated with the legends of football...

    March 27, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • brianito

      you analyze the game very well. messi should not be compared to any one. infact he should play in a labcoat. he brings out all the aspects of the game in equalmeasures and encourages the sport to be entertaining rather than a routine practice session. he is so natural ith the ball unlike CR7 who i have always known to be a striker even when he played with rooney and tevez. he was the target. wherea s messi is involved

      March 31, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  54. Janne

    CNNs soccer knowledge....
    Ribery was never ever gona win the Ballon d'Or 2013.

    March 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  55. brianito

    aside from scoring, what would to take you to a madrid game to see ronaldo do. i woud go to see messi dazzle through yaya, demichellis, ramos, etc

    March 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  56. lance

    Why was Liverpool's Uruguayan Suarez ignored ?
    Hie has been the the EPL outstanding player and goal scorer without being spoon fed by the team tactics of give the ball to Leo/Christian. Certainly edges Frank for all except understandably Bayern supporters.

    April 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  57. onesmo

    people always do require mess to test another league but they don remember that what players look after is not the test of the league but their success. Mess got almost everything he think he need from barcelona and la liga at large, why then looking for another league taste?

    April 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  58. Halliday Michael

    A lot has bn said about this players but remember the both play for different clubs in spain. now let them both play in different country lets see whos better. also have it in mind that CR7 has played in country and has made name too.

    April 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  59. Jeremiah

    messi? or ronaldo? i think ronaldo is the best player. Wanna know why? because Ronaldo can do the goals by him self unlike messi (because he is short) he needs tandems such as xavi and iniesta who gives him great pass to score some goal, and in the other hands ronaldo its already been in three different clubs b4 and he fits in every clubs as well, and still got the power and still a scoring machine, the question is, Can messi do the same like ronaldo after move to other clubs ?? there will be no xavi and iniesta tho< LOL (Hala Madrid!!!)

    April 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  60. danilo

    both were very good at his own specialty..and we should respect the organization's decision..KUDOS Ronaldo..

    April 14, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  61. juan

    Just to add something I did not see anyone comment: soccer is a visual enjoyment also. Style, grace, elasticity, celebration (Ronaldo sometimes bullfighter way) also count. Not to mention sex appeal (whom would you prefer in a hair products commercial?). Go further! - You are wellcome.

    April 17, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.