Tonight the winner of the 2013 Ballon d’Or awarded to the FIFA footballer of the year will be announced. The three finalists are Frenchman and Bayern Munich star Frank Ribery, Argentine and Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Portugal and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo would appear to be the favourite based on the statistics, although outscored by Messi in La Liga, his consistency at all levels may see him pick up the award for the second time after winning in 2008. Messi however who has already won an unprecedented four such titles scored 45 goals in the La Liga season to Ronaldo’s 34, but the Portugese star need up with 66 in the year; Ribery scored 22. Ronaldo played 56 games, Messi 45 and Ribery 52. Ronaldo had 160 shots on target, Messi 87 and Ribery who tends to set up goals as well as score them had 56. Ribery created 149 opportunities, Ronaldo 94 and Messi 70.
When it comes to shooting accuracy Ribery again tops the three with 61% to Messi’s 60% and Ronaldo’s 54%. Ribery also had an astounded 1084 dribbles to Messi’s 331 and Ronaldo’s 252.
All of this goes to prove that decisions such as this should never be based on statistics.
When it comes to whether they deserve to win, Ronaldo has not minced his words, “Do I deserve to win it? Maybe I do, just like I did last year or two years ago. I think that I deserve to win the Ballon d’Or every year.” he is alleged to say. Some would say that this is confidence rather than arrogance, it is the fuel that makes him so successful. Others will say he needs to adopt some humility.
“I’m going to carry on being happy whether I win or not. I’m just pleased to be among the contenders.” It Ribery’s take on the decision to be made while Messi has a different view “To My mind team awards count and if I don’t win it won’t be the end of the world either.”
Ronaldo may win and many will admire his talents, but Ribery and Messi have an attitude that is far more in tune with many fans. Despite varying opinions we should never forget that all three are exceptional footballers.