Following a very fruitful season with Real Madrid, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is favorite to win the Ballon d’Or once again.
For the past several years there have been only two outstanding candidates for the prestigious football award. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have claimed a total of 6 trophies between them, with the latter winning a record four in a row. No other footballer has come close to usurping their domination in world football as their supernatural talents have set them light years apart from the nearest talented player.
This year seems to be no different, as the both the Portuguese and the Argentine claim the first two spots, while all of the other players are viewed as highly unlikely candidates. Many online sportsbooks in Spain are vying Ronaldo for the coveted award, and according to his recent performances with his club side (Real Madrid) it seems like the most realistic possibility.
Ronaldo absolute favorite despite small World Cup hiccup
• Ronaldo previously won the award for 2008 and 2013
• The Portuguese winger has odds of 1.16 (1/6) to win the award
• Messi’s odds stand a low 9.00 (8/1)
• Neuer’s odds for the Ballon d’Or are 26.00 (25/1)
Last season the Portuguese winger guided Los Blancos to a record tenth Champions League title, which boosted his chances of securing his second in a row Ballon d’Or and third overall. Although not always practiced, it is quite common for the players that lift the European trophy to also stand in line for the Ballon d’Or. Seeing that Ronaldo has asserted himself greatly last season and played an integral part for Real Madrid, he is the main candidate.
Some football critics may point to the fact that his performance during last summer’s World Cup in Brazil was poor and therefore does not wholeheartedly deserve the accolade. But for that matter neither does Lionel Messi, who is the second favorite for the Ballon d’Or right behind Ronaldo. He also didn’t impose himself and many criticized him for not giving his all for the national team during the tournament in which they finished second behind Germany.
Nevertheless, numerous mobile betting providers believe that Real Madrid’s wide-man is the absolute favorite for the prized award. Paddy Power Sportsbook gives Ronaldo odds of 1.16 (1/6), which virtually cements him as the only players with a realistic shot. Messi on the other hand is far behind the Portuguese in terms of odds. Despite winning the Ballon d’Or four years in a row, his odds stand at a low 9.00 (8/1).
No other players can win the award
With Ronaldo and Messi taking up the first and second spots respectively, every other player on the Ballon d’Or shortlist is viewed as an outsider. Although Germany’s Thomas Muller and Golden Glove winner Manuel Neuer have been placed right behind the Portuguese and the Argentine, they are still considered to be unlikely winners in the end. Muller has been assigned odds of 17.00 (16/1), while Neuer has bene given 26.00 (25/1).
Football fans would argue that goalie Neuer deserves it for his immense contribution to the German national team during the World Cup. However, unofficially the award is generally reserved for attackers that score goals and receive the most attention for their footballing exploits. Additionally, Germany right back Phillip Lahm has also made onto the list and currently holds fifth place 34.00 (33/1), but is also not viewed as a serious candidate.
Although the 2014 World Cup didn’t prove as the best platform to showcase his talents, Ronaldo has excelled beyond measure with his club since the season started. Gambling news reports he has found the back of the opposition’s net on a staggering 21 occasions in a mere 14 appearances overall, a statistic that works out at a remarkable 1.5 goals per game. As a comparison, Messi has only managed to score 9 goals in 12 appearances for Barcelona so far.
Taking into consideration all the details and statistics linked to the Portuguese, it is easy to see why he has been identified as the main player for the coveted award. Currently, Messi is the only player that manages to get close to Ronaldo’s incredible feet, however he is still too far to be able to mount a serious challenge for the Ballon d’Or.