Why Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or

(Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
(Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

The Ballon d’Or ceremony is scheduled for tonight in Paris, where France Football will announce the best player in 2017. All signs indicate that Cristiano Ronaldo will grab his 5th golden ball, and deservedly so. Here’s why Cristiano Ronaldo should win the award again this year.

(Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
(Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

Undisputed King of the Champions League – 2016/17

Cristiano Ronaldo started off the UCL 2016/17 campaign in style – with an 89th minute goal to save Madrid from going down to Sporting Lisbon at the Santiago Bernabéu. He scored another crucial one in the group stages against Borussia Dortmund.

But he only had 2 goals until the Round of 16, an earth-shatteringly low statistic by Ronaldo’s galactic standards. While Real Madrid were progressing smoothly, this was not the Ronaldo we knew.

But, cometh the hour, cometh the man.

He was waiting for the occasion, and he turned it on in style. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 goals in the knock-out stages. TEN. Out of the 14 that Real Madrid scored in the quarters, semis, and the final, 10 were from Ronaldo.

If that is not magnificent enough, remind yourself that these came against arguably the 3 best goalkeepers in the world.

  • Quarterfinal: 5 against Manuel Neuer, who is without a doubt the best goalkeeper in the world, and has been for awhile. And it would have been more, had it not been for some other-worldly saves by Neuer.
  • Semifinal: 3 against Jan Oblak, who has the reflexes of a cat, despite his big frame. Oblak also saved a few rockets, esp. one at the goal-line in the first leg.
  • Final: And last but not the least, 2 against Gianluigi Buffon, who was awarded as ‘The Best’ by FIFA for last season. He had just let in 2 goals over the entire CL, but was rendered helpless in the final.

Cristiano Ronaldo swept aside all who came in Madrid’s way. Real Madrid were dominant in the knock-out rounds, against arguably the 3 best teams in Europe at that time. While the midfield play was immense, Ronaldo was the biggest reason Madrid walked away with their 12th title, instead of Bayern Munich with their 6th.

Top scorer of the Champions League – 2017/18

It is no secret that the Champions League is Ronaldo’s favorite competition. He has a liking for the big stages, and there is no bigger one in club football than the UCL. He is the tournament’s all time highest goal-scorer too.

Which could be one of the reasons why he is flying in the Champions League this year as well, despite his struggles in La Liga. He is the top goalscorer with 9 goals, some distance ahead of the others. In the win over Borussia Dortmund, he also became the first player in history to score in all 6 games in the group-stages.

While Madrid are far from their best this season, Ronaldo still gives them hope. Such is his aura and connection with the Champions League.

Calming influence for Real Madrid in La Liga – 2016/17

Zinedine Zidane reserved Ronaldo for crucial fixtures last season in league play. He was left out of multiple matches, and substituted quite a few times as well. It was all far from usual for Ronaldo, but he responded admirably to it.

The plan was for Ronaldo to feature when it mattered most, and he delivered on most of those occasions. Particularly towards the end of the campaign, when things got a bit nervy after the El Clasico loss at home. They needed to win each match, and hence, Ronaldo featured in almost all of them. And scored in most.

International Matches

At the international level, Ronaldo has scored 11 times in as many matches, with a goal every ~84 minutes. In comparison, Lionel Messi has scored 4 in 7 matches.

The only match that Portugal did not win in their World Cup Qualification campaign was also the only match where Ronaldo did not play. He now has the maximum number of international goals (of all active players). He also spear-headed Portugal to the semifinals of the FIFA Confederation Cup.


It is evident that things haven’t been peachy for Ronaldo in La Liga this year. But the Ballon d’Or is given for whole of 2017. And given his collective and individual achievements this year, there should be no doubt that he is the deserving winner!

Next: Player ratings from Real Madrid’s 3-2 win against Borussia Dortmund

Stay tuned to The Real Champs for more coverage on the award!