Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo was finally recognized for his marvelous individual season and he was rightfully rewarded today.
The Real Madrid forward was given the Ballon d’Or Award – a prize given to the player who was the best individual performer during the 2013 season – and got the first place in the voting ahead of Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Despite the individual quality Lionel Messi has – and that is evidenced every time he steps on to the pitch – he really had no chance to win the award this season due to the several injuries he suffered last year, so this was a two-man race between CR7 and Ribery. While it can be argued that Ribery accomplished the most during the year, Ronaldo was still the most deserving of the award, as this prize solely accounts individual performances and not team accolades.
Ribery was an instrumental part of a Bayern Munich side that won five titles during the year and Real Madrid, on the other hand, didn’t win anything. However, when we look at the individual numbers and considering both players play in a similar position – albeit with different styles – it was clear Ronaldo was the better player by a mile.
The former Manchester United star ended 2013 with 69 goals in 58 matches; incredible numbers for a player that is not a striker and that ultimately was a heavy factor in the decision. This is Ronaldo’s second Ballon d’Or in his career – he previously won it in 2008 with The Red Devils – and among the three candidates, he deserved it the most.