By Amanda Deo
It really doesn’t matter which club you support, what country you reside in, or who your favourite player is because the 2013 Ballon D’or debate is the hottest topic in futbol right now. Who was the best player in the world this year? Well, let’s break it down for ya.
Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in the world over the last few years, won football’s top award 2009-2012. He led Barcelona to the La Liga championship last year with 45 goals. All in all, he has won six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies. Leo, small in stature due to a growth hormone deficiency as a child, is a football God. For much of his youth Messi administered growth hormone shots, that were paid for by Barcelona FC, into his own legs to assist with his deficiency on a daily basis. Even at 11 years old Messi knew that it was a short term, painful solution to help him achieve his dream of professional football. As a boy people that saw him play in different countries all over the world would touch him for good luck. The Argentinian carries the weight of his country on his shoulders going into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Following in the footsteps of the great Maradona, Messi has great pressure to usher in a new era of football for Argentina. Winning a World Cup is really essential to sealing his status as quite possibly the best football player to ever lace up a pair of boots. Even Maradona himself has said that Messi is, in fact, HIS Maradona.
Leo has ridiculous speed and ball control. Because of his size, his agility is nasty and the ball is merely an extension of his body. Further, while other top athletes succomb to weaknesses such as fame, drinking, drugs, and excessive partying, Messi has stayed away from all of that. He makes lethal runs from the midfield that are second to none and tackling him is usually impossible due to his fast moving feet.
Ronaldo always gets a bad rap. Admittedly, he was a bit of a Rico Suave back in the day and found himself in the hot seat a few times. He was known across the English Premiership for being histrionic when it came to drawing fouls. To a certain degree he can still be seen sarcastically clapping at referees and yelling at his teammates, but he really has gotten better at controlling his emotions. Roni has grown on me and has matured over the past few years making it easier for everyone just to focus on his football skills instead of the models he is dating or the surrogates he is paying to have a child for him.
This has really been Ronaldo’s year. He has been crushing point totals since the beginning of 2013. He has been influential in the Champion’s League for Real Madrid scoring nine times, the most a player has ever scored in group round play. Ronaldo has won the Golden Boot award, Fifa Player of the Year award, and several titles with both Manchester United and Real Madrid. He is also a bright light that shines frequently on the Portuguese national team, most recently aiding them to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. With 66 goals scored so far this season, the man is on track to have his best season on record. Ronaldo takes any defender on with a Usain Bolt pace and can cross the ball fiercely for his teammates at the drop of a dime.
Recently, FIFA President Seth Blatter stated of the Roni VS Messi debate that Ronaldo “spends more time at the hairdresser”. Not that anyone really cares what Seth Blatter has to say because, you know, corruption scandals, financial mismanagement, his stance on technology in football and several discouraging bigoted and ignorant comments through the years…just to name a few. But the question is, who has been the best player this year? The picture below says it all. Ronaldo has definitely been the best, most consistent player in the year of 2013, but it’s hard to deny Messi another trophy; he’s just a likeable guy. On January 13, 2014, we will see find out who wins the Ballon D’or and for once and for all, we can silence this argument…at least until January 14th.