One award for one winner – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Manuel Neuer. Which one should take home the coveted Golden Ball.
All 3 men will be holding their breath when the envelope is opened on 12th January 2015
Our panel of writers voices its opinion on who should take home the honors:
Kofi Ampon Gyasi – Lionel Messi
In the last 18 months it can be recalled that the humble boy wizard has been involved in a couple of cases that has negatively affected his image. His Involvement in the tax case which was a huge blow to his brand and his recent burst up with Luis Enrique which as a result battering his image as the smiling, innocent genius.
Of course let’s not forget his Barcelona team has stuttered under Luis Enrique yet Messi has managed to score goals. It proves that he is still the best football player in the world and deserves to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the fifth time.
Yes, his fiercest rival Ronaldo was tremendous last year but performance is temporary and class is permanent. Messi is a more complete player and has vision. He is the all-time top scorer in the Champions League, La Liga and the all-time top scorer for Barcelona, all achieved in 2014. Records Ronaldo hasn’t been able to achieve.
It’s fairly true the Argentine had a torrid time at the World Cup, but yet he captained his team to the finals, scored four goals and produced some breath-taking performances, which Ronaldo never did.
Of course Ronaldo won the Champions League with Real Madrid but was that enough? What about his Abysmal performance at the World Cup which he couldn’t qualify his Portuguese team to the round of 16 with the excuse of injury. Yet injured Luis Suarez single handedly qualified Uruguay from the group stage to the round of 16.
So it’s just obvious Messi is the greatest and deserves the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Prince Dulzy – Cristiano Ronaldo
I just wish we get a second Goalkeeper to win the award after Lev Yashin in 1963. Manuel Neuer has been fantastic in the season especially during the World Cup and no matter how I feel for him, I think Cristiano Ronaldo deserves it.
The Ballon d’Or is an individual award and even though he had a terrible World Cup, you can’t blame him for Portugal’s failure. Messi had all the top stars in the Argentine squad, no surprise they got to the final. For me Di Maria was the best Argentine player at the world Cup – no disrespect to Messi, but I think he didn’t even deserve the best player of the tournament.
The Portuguese superstar has performed outstandingly well throughout the entire season. It would be unfair to judge him on just one competition lasting for just a month. It is inappropriate because that is only 7 matches (only if you get to the final).
Not to bore you with all the trophies and awards he has already bagged, Ronaldo was fantastic leading Real Madrid to win the Champions League ‘La Decima’, alongside finishing as top scorer with 17 goals. Most goals scored in a single season – it’s a record.
He had 61 goals and 22 assists in 60 games for club and country, while Messi had 58 goals and 21 assist in 66 games. Is quite close, but let me remind you that Messi was trophy-less.
For me this year there is only one winner, and that is Ronaldo. He remains relentless, powerful, quick, skilful, inventive – self-obsessed – and brilliantly effective.
Kwaku Owusu Oteng – Cristiano Ronaldo
The FIFA Ballon d’Or is here with us again and fittingly it has two of the earth’s finest playas in the shortlist. Some divided attention as to who should win the award; Messi, Ronaldo or the world’s finest and safest pair of hands Manuel Neuer, who for me was just extraordinary for Bayern on their way to clinching the league title and also winning football most prestigious trophy in Brazil.
Notwithstanding Neuer having a remarkable year as a Goalkeeper, Ronaldo last season was just breath-taking with his individual play and team play as well. He made 30 apps in La Liga, scored 31 and made 9 assists… in Champions League, scored 17, made 11 appearances and 5 assists. Went on to score as many as 51 goals in all competitions and won the Champions League and Copa del Rey for his club but had a World Cup he himself won’t be proud of and will quickly sweep under the carpet.
God’s gift to football, Lionel Messi as some pundits will want to describe him had a season in a Barcelona shirt that judging from his standard will mean it was a major dent. Yes you could say individual records were broken but yet he won absolutely nothing with his Barcelona team trophy wise. Scored 41 goals in all competitions, scored 8 goals from 7 Champions League appearances and made no assist in da competition. He went on to score 28 goals in La Liga from 31 appearances and made 11 assists. His only hope (World Cup) was shattered by the German Diemanschaft.
With all these stats I feel it should be a third crown for the iconic man from Madeira Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo, born by Maria Delores dos Santos Aveira and Jose Diniz Aveiro.