The 2013 FIFA Ballon d´Or will be presented to the winner on January 13 of next year. The three men on the shortlist to receive the award are Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery.
Messi has won the prestigious award several times in the last few years, but 2013 has not been one of his better years to date and he seems to be a little sluggish. As well, he has had injury problems and his team has struggled since Pep Guardiola left two seasons ago. Barcelona’s last two coaches, Tito Villanova and Gerardo Martino, have yet to find the best way to utilize Messi, and he doesn’t seem as comfortable as he did under Guardiola.
Even though he is without a doubt one of the world’s best, he was not at his best this year. He did score lots of goals, but that will not be enough this year.
Most football pundits believe that Ribery should win the award because he had the most successful season of the three candidates. His team, Bayern Munich, won the three competitions it was competing in and dominated every team they came across. His teammates helped him very much but he still deserves the award. However, he won’t get it because he is not as high-profile as his counterparts.
I believe that the winner should be Ronaldo. His personal achievements outweigh the lack of trophies. His spell at Real Madrid has not been the most successful, but his goal scoring ratio and his ability to carry his team is unparalleled. He is also the most marketable footballer on the planet, and his name is synonymous with making lots and lots of money, which will certainly help his cause in this year’s voting.
He has scored more goals this calendar year than most of Europe’s powerhouses such as Manchester United and Manchester City. He is my favorite to win the award and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t take it, but you never know what can happen with FIFA.