The Ballon d’Or award has been at the epicentre of the decade-long debate that football fans worldwide have been discussing – who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
Both attackers are the shining lights of world football’s two biggest clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid and between them, they have shared the last nine Ballon d’Or awards, with Messi’s five awards edging Ronaldo’s four.
In 2017, while both players continue to excel on the wrong side of 30, it’s Ronaldo who has earned the nod from the voters to win his fifth career Ballon d’Or and his fourth in the last five years.
Ronaldo’s 2017 has been one of his best years to date, scoring 42 goals in 46 games last season as he helped fire Real Madrid to the La Liga title and scored in the Champions League final as Madrid became the first team in the modern era to successfully defend the crown.
This season, the Portugal international set more records in the Champions League as he became the first player ever to score in all six group stage matches as Madrid secured progression to the last 16.
At 32, Ronaldo is still at the peak of his powers and it will be interesting to see if he can regain the Ballon d’Or next year.