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The world's greatest footballers - but who's the best?

The battle of Messi vs Ronaldo has the world gripped.

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Who Should Win the 2015 Ballon d’Or?

| 17 Comments

Last week, the 3-man shortlist for the 2015 Ballon d’Or was finally revealed. As has been the case for almost a decade now, Messi and Ronaldo both made the cut as was widely expected. The other spot had been very much up for grabs this year though, with Lewandowski, Neymar and Suarez emerging as the favourites since the start of the new season.

Neymar’s sensational form of late ensured he ultimately pulled away from his competitors to grab that final space, and has even had some people claiming he should take the 2nd spot on the podium this year!

2015 Ballon d’Or Finalists
Player Previous Appearances in Final 3
Messi 8
Ronaldo 7
Neymar 0

Ballon d'Or Winners

Did the right players make the final shortlist?

There has been outrage from some quarters that Luis Suarez didn’t make the final cut over Cristiano Ronaldo.

This view point certainly has enough merit to warrant discussion, but has Suarez’s year been so good as to oust last year’s Ballon d’Or winner from the podium altogether?

Well, let’s look at the stats…

2015 Club Stats
Player Goals Assists Games
Ronaldo 46 15 48
Messi 44 22 49
Neymar 41 12 51
Suarez 41 22 53

Correct as of 7th December 2015. See the calendar year page for guaranteed up to date 2015 statistics

Suarez and Neymar have matched each other for goals this year, with Neymar boasting the ever so slightly better goal ratio. Suarez has notched up many more assists though and on paper, looks hard done by not to make the final 3.

Neymar’s flair, creativity and impressive link up play this year seems to have edged him ahead of Suarez, as well as finishing joint top scorer in the Champions League last season.

Barca’s treble win weighs heavily in Suarez’s favour when it comes to the choice between him and Ronaldo. However, whilst trophies are certainly a major factor, the Ballon d’Or is awarded for individual brilliance at the end of the day, and Ronaldo has had yet another incredible year, having been crowned the best player in the world for the last 2 years running now.

He finished last season as joint Champions League top scorer along with Neymar and Messi (in fewer games) and has scored the most goals in club competitions in 2015 (46) in fewer games than his rivals (48).

He also picked up both the Pichichi (La Liga top scorer) and European Golden Shoe (Europe’s top scorer) awards for the 2nd time in succession, off the back of his best ever goals return in La Liga; a mind-numbing 48 goals in just 35 appearances.

These numbers mean – for me at least – that Ronaldo still deserves his place in the top 2 footballers in the world.

It is now undeniable though that the gap is finally closing.

So who should win the 2015 Ballon d’Or?

As I’ve alluded to already, I think Neymar will run the top 2 close, but ultimately the Messi and Ronaldo dynasty will live on for another year.

Which of these guys will pick up the coveted golden trophy then? Firstly, let’s look at how their stats compare…

Messi 2015 Calendar Year Stats
Goals Assists Games
Argentina 4 3 8
Barcelona 44 22 49
Total 48 25 57

Correct as of 7th December 2015. See the calendar year page for guaranteed up to date 2015 statistics

Ronaldo 2015 Calendar Year Stats
Goals Assists Games
Portugal 3 0 5
Real Madrid 46 15 48
Total 49 15 53

Correct as of 7th December 2015. See the calendar year page for guaranteed up to date 2015 statistics

Going by the stats alone, it’s a very close run thing this year but Ronaldo just edges it with one more goal in 4 less games altogether.

However, we all know there is a lot more to it than just statistics.

Despite Ronaldo’s goalscoring heroics (he’s scored 5 goals in a single league game on 2 occasions in 2015), Real Madrid have endured a completely trophy-less year.

Lionel Messi on the other hand has enjoyed one of the most trophy-ridden years of his glittering career, scoring several pivotal goals along the way. His superb brace in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich set Barca on their way to what was a convincing win in the end.

He also scored the goal that secured the league title in a 1-0 win at Atletico Madrid, a notoriously difficult place to get a result.

And to round the treble off, Messi scored one of the most impressive goals of his career in the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao; a goal that is among the finalists for the 2015 Puskas award (given for the best goal).

Messi Copa Del Rey Final Goal

Love this angle of Messi's incredible Copa Del Rey final goal earlier this year.It's one of 10 goals nominated for the 2015 Puskas award. You can vote here: http://www.fifa.com/ballon-dor/puskas-award/

Posted by MessivsRonaldo.net on Sunday, 15 November 2015

When all of these factors are considered, it will perhaps come as no surprise that Lionel Messi is the red hot favourite to collect his 5th Ballon d’Or in January, having watched Ronaldo take it home for the last 2 years.

Cristiano’s desire to be the best is well known so this one will hurt, but if he keeps scoring at his superhuman levels, he will surely be back in the frame again for next year’s award.

Ballon d'Or Winners

  • Shrey

    Ronaldo should definitely win ballon dor …. Ronaldo won the golden boot has scored more than 3 goals in a match 3-4 times this year also was uefa champions league top scorer even though he played less matches than Messi and Neymar .. steeped up on numerous occasion for the team even though it wasn’t enough to lead real to a mojor trophy btw real madrid won 2 trophies last year uefa super cup as well as fifa club world cup ….

    • Stephen Greig

      On your last point, Ronaldo won the Super Cup and Club World Cup in 2014. This award is for 2015.

      • z GrUnT

        14/15 technically 15

        • Diego

          nope

    • Waheed Shirzay

      but his goals were not crucial to win any trophy for Real Madrid. he struggled to shine in big games like Champions League knock out stages where Messi was man of the match against PSG in both legs and he also was man of the match against Man City. Ronaldo has been scoring for fun but against lower teams and most from penalties. Messi scored all of his goals without penalty. don’t come up with ohh he missed penalties. he gave all penalties to Neymar being honest for missing few penalites at the start. if he took them he would have been 10 goals ahead of Ronaldo. anyway that does not matter that match. Messi assisted 24 where Ronaldo only assisted 13. Messi helped him team to win 5 trophies where Ronaldo won no trophy this season. even a blind will give this Ballon dor to Messi

  • http://bradleypanton.tumblr.com/ Bradley

    Messi will win easily, and by a fairly large margin too.

  • z GrUnT

    I’m a Ronaldo and Messi fan but I think Suarez was the best player this year. Messi shouldn’t win this year since his performance the whole year wasn’t spectacular. Making only 9 goals in 6 months . This is an award for the whole year and to me neymar overshadowed by Messi and Ronaldo. Suarez is best in 2015 then ronaldo then neymar then Messi if we are going by stats and accomplishments. Messi being injured by 11 games makes this debate much easier. Who do I think will win Messi 40% Ronaldo 35% Neymar 25% . Messi will win because he is favorite and not because of stats or analytics. I wouldn’t be suprise if other steals it.

    • Stephen Greig

      It’s sounds to me like you’re just going off statistics alone. Messi has been phenomenal this year, there is no doubt about it.

      I personally think that the top 3 is the correct call, but Suarez only marginally behind Neymar. Messi deserves it this year (again, just my opinion), but I think many people are significantly underestimating Ronaldo’s year. Real Madrid have had a bad year by their standards, but Cristiano has still been exceptional.

      • z GrUnT

        I agree except Messi didn’t have a great year but a great 6 months if that’s what you mean. No doubt the best early this year but is that fair to the other players? Suarez scored some crucial goals in ucl final and assist. Messi is going to win in my opinion but not in goals or performance since they don’t back it up.

        • Waheed Shirzay

          Messi have the best 6 months at the start and Ronaldo has been poor in the first 4 months of 2015. they do not look only at goals but Assists as well. Messi assisted double times than Ronaldo and scored more goals than Suarez. he also took his international team to the Copa America Final and he won the UEFA player of the year as well.

  • Oly Ahmed

    It has to be Cristiano. Despite his off form and shitty performances by team mates, he outscored Messi by far.

    • Stephen Greig

      It’s not all about goals though, otherwise Cristiano would be a clear winner.

    • Waheed Shirzay

      He scored 5 more goals than Messi this season despite Messi was out for 2 months. but Messi outshines him in providing assists by 10 more. Messi 24 Ronaldo 14
      Messi ended up winning trophies for his club and that shows how important was his goals for them. Ronaldo struggled to score against Att Madrid for almost 6 games and two of them were Champions League games.

  • TheRealChandu

    This year’s competition will be between Ronaldo and Messi. SInce it is a trophy for individual achivement Ronaldo has the edge. But I think Suarez deserve to be in third position instead of Neymar.

    • Waheed Shirzay

      Ronaldo Have the Edge? are you sure?
      Ronaldo scored 5 more goals than Messi
      Messi assisted 10 more than Ronaldo
      Ronaldo took all penalties for Real Madrid and Messi took no penalties at all this year.
      Messi was out for 2 months as well. imagine if he was fit for those months and took penalties as well then he would have been 20 goals ahead of Ronaldo. but he still outshine Ronaldo with his assists and behind only 5 goals from Ronaldo.

  • Richard Hutchinson

    Ronaldo didn’t win any trophies so it has to be messi

  • Waheed Shirzay

    Ronalod himself declared Messi deserves this Ballon Dor.

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