By Alphonsus E.W
It is no longer news that FC Barcelona and Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has been ruled out of action for the rest of the year with a muscle tear. What is news amongst fans and pundits alike is who will win the prestigious award for the best player on the planet for the 2012/2013 season. The Barcelona talisman has endured an injury-plagued 2013, getting injured far more frequently than previous seasons.
As much as it is obvious that the player has been overworked, making him more susceptible to injuries, the debate as to who should win the prestigious award has been fueled in no small part by the seemingly unending and perennial comparism between Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid and Portuguese maestro and Lionel Messi, his counterpart from Argentina.
For apologists of the former, they feel that CR7 more than thoroughly deserves the award this year considering his goal scoring feats for both club and country in the previous season. Ronaldo plundered a beastly return of 34 goals in 34 games while Messi on his own part amassed a jaw-dropping 46 goals in 32 games.
While both players may have won plaudits for the sheer volume of goals they are able to score, it is Bayern Munich and France winger, Franck Ribery who many feel deserves the Balon d’ Or award. They argue that the Ronaldo/Messi duopoly should be discarded for a more worthy candidate, in this case, Ribery.
Franck Ribery enjoyed a stellar season as he played a key role in Bayern Munich’s treble-winning side. Although he had a supporting cast to envy, the French winger was one of the standout performers of a brilliant Bayern side.
If Ronaldo does not win the award this year, he may feel hard done by because considering the storm of controversy that followed Sepp Blatter’s innocuous comments that he prefers Messi to Ronaldo, he will assume that FIFA does not want him to win the award.
The Portuguese maestro has, as though on cue, been playing like a man possessed. He has scored 11 goals in his last 10 matches as well as scoring the decisive goal in his country slim win over Sweden in a world cup play-off.
Poser; Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Balon d’Or? Or should Ribery be handed the award based on his wonderful performances for club and country?