Cristiano Ronaldo has had a season to remember, and he is now favourite for the Ballon D’or after winning both the Champions League and European Championship
Favourite for the Ballon D’or odds at Paddy Power
- Cristiano Ronaldo @ 1/6
- Lionel Messi @ 9/2
- Antoine Griezmann @ 5/1
- Luis Suarez @ 11/2
At online sportsbooks in the EU, Cristiano Ronaldo is now clear odds-on favourite for the Ballon D’or. Paddy Power place him at 1/6, with Lionel Messi his closest challenger at 9/2. There’s half a year to go until the award ceremony, but online sportsbooks clearly reckon his achievements this summer will be sufficient.
If he does win, he’ll regain the trophy after only one season in second spot. His runner-up position last year came after two successive victories, and before that two successive runner-up positions. In total, a win this year would be his fourth trophy, only one behind Lionel Messi’s record of five.
Does Ronaldo deserve to be favourite for the Ballon D’or?
While Ronaldo was injured early in the final, most would agree that he was the driving force in their tournament, his quality ensured they escaped the group stage and his sensational header against Wales saw them reach the final. His leadership on and off the pitch was also noticeable. However, it can’t be said that he was the player of the tournament; Antoine Griezmann in particular had a far more impressive tournament.
ironically, Lionel Messi was by far the best player at the Copa America Centenario, taking his team to the final and scoring five goals. However, his missed penalty and subsequent international retirement after their loss to Chile in the final means that the tournament will be regarded as a failure for him. Unusually for a Ballon D’or favourite, Ronaldo didn’t win the league or score the most goals. Barcelona finished a point ahead of their rivals, and Luis Suarez scored five more goals than Ronaldo, plus five more assists. With a season of forty goals and sixteen assists, it seems that Suarez is unlucky not to have played for a successful national team; otherwise he would surely be a favourite for the Ballon D’or too!
However, winning the Champions League and Euro 2016 – even if he wasn’t necessarily the best player in either competition – seems enough for Ronaldo to be the clear favourite for the Ballon D’or. If you want to bet on the winner, put your money on him!