Cristiano Ronaldo is at it once again. The Real Madrid attacker has found the secret to goal scoring and his eight goals in the last three games have pushed Los Blancos to the edge of another Champions League final, and whether or not they triumph in Cardiff, another Ballon d’Or could likely be won.
Just of recent, the Portuguese was on his longest dry spell in the continental competition, but all that came to an end with his brace at the Allianz Arena in the quarter-final first leg – and he has grown bigger since then.
A hat-trick followed in the sides’ second game at the Santiago Bernabeu as Madrid proved more powerful than their opponent Bayern Munich in extra time, before he score another hat-trick against Atletico last Tuesday in the semi-final clash. Eight goals in three matches and his poor form in the continental competition is now a thing of the past.
Rested by boss Zinedine Zidane more than usual in the current campaign in order to have well and ready for the bigger challenge, Ronaldo is some way behind Lionel Messi’s 51 goals across all competition this season. But with Madrid’s movement toward the La Liga and Champions League title, Cristiano may end the season holding both of the major trophies n his possession.
There are expectations of Messi and Barca winning the Copa del Rey later in May against Alaves, while they still remain strong in the Liga title challenge as well. However, Madrid and Barca have the same points and still have one fixture with their Clasico rivals.
Even if Luis Enrique’s side are able to win the two domestic, just as they did in the previous season, it would be inadequate for Messi to win the Ballon d’Or – because most voters base their votes on the happenings in the Champions League these days.
Ronaldo won it in the previous season and was also added another feather to his cap as Portugal claimed the European Championship. This summer, however, no international tournament is taking place and the Confederation Cup cannot be as acclaimed as the Ballon d’Or.
And although the individual honors has become something Messi and Ronaldo compete for in recent years, the Portuguese golden ball winner could come from a different competition this season.
Juventus secured a Champions League spot with a victory over Monaco on Tuesday night and the Italian club are on their way to claiming their third consecutive Serie A, Coppa Italia and European trophy.
If the Bianconeri can defeat Madrid (which looks very unlikely) in the final, Gianluigi Buffon could be next in line for the Ballon d’Or (which severed his association with FIFA last year and is now the property of magazine France Football) and probably Dani Alves as well.
However, goalkeepers and defenders are rarely honored with the prestigious award and even the French Magazine wrote a piece on Tuesday titled “Who can beat Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or 2017?”
The answer would be known very soon, but the odds are set on the Portuguese winning the award for the fifth time. Only a disaster can hinder him now.