Why it is right that the Ronaldo-Messi Ballon d'Or duopoly is coming to an end

21 November at 12:45
As the announcement of the winner of the Ballon d'Or approaches, many rumours are circulating around the biggest individual football prize, with the principle ones surrounding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are reportedly set to be out of the podium of this year's edition for the first time since 2006 (Ronaldo being absent once in 2010).

Many fans have responded to the rumours with amazement and disgust, as the numbers of both players have been, as usual, fantastic this year and purely individually speaking, both obviously once again deserve to be in the top 3 in the world.

However, this year's World Cup seems to have really changed the balance, as the final trio is expected to be composed of World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane, as well as the finalist and World Cup Golden Ball winner Luka Modric.

All three have had exceptional seasons, as Varane guided both Real Madrid and France to the Champions League and World Cup, respectively, and he did so as an undisputed starter for both. Kylian Mbappe helped the centre-back in their Russian journey, while Modric had an incredible tournament and also was a part of the history-making Real Madrid team which defeated Liverpool in the Champions League final.

On the other, Messi's and Ronaldo's seasons were impressive in terms of numbers, but trophy-wise it was not disappointing, to say the least. It is true that Ronaldo guided Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League trophy with his goals, but when it mattered at the World Cup or in the La Liga, he did not manage to be decisive for this team in the most important tournament of the 4-year cycle.

The same can be said about Messi, who, however, only managed to win the La Liga and Copa del Rey at club level, while at the World Cup his Argentina side was a great disappointment and even the efforts of the Barcelona superstar weren't enough, while Barcelona's Champions League journey ended already in the quarter-finals against Roma.

It is completely logical to take successes, trophies and honours into account as well as the contribution of respective candidates to them. Varane and Mbappe guided their team to the World Cup trophy as starters and key players, Modric won a Champions League trophy as a key player, played a memorable World Cup and almost reached the top, while Ronaldo and especially Messi, did not manage to contribute for their country in a decisive matter.

In connection to this, however, it is somewhat strange that Antoine Griezmann is not included in the rumoured top 3 in the race for the Ballon d'Or, as he had a fine World Cup and a successful campaign for Atletico Madrid, winning the Europa League. But this could probably be justified by the fact that many consider the Europa League a second-tier competition that cannot be compared to a Champions League success.

Click on the gallery to see all the Ballon d'Or podiums since 2007.

READ MORE:  Ballon d’Or - The numbers are with Ronaldo, exclusion is madness

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