Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA’s individual award for the Best Male Player of the year, and Messi had a wry smile on his face as he missed the trophy for the second year in a row. Did the award mean that Ronaldo’s performance was better than Lionel Messi’s last season? Certainly not, statistics-wise Messi was arguably a better player than Ronaldo last season with his contribution being imminent for the squad.
There seems to be a legitimate concern at the Bernabeu that their talisman is finished, with the 32-year-old approaching the twilight years of his career. Ronaldo has just scored a single goal in the entire La Liga campaign, with fringe players such as Paco Alcacer and Paulinho scoring more goals than the Portuguese International.
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The right-footed Ronaldo has eight goals this season, with six coming in UEFA’s Champions League and a solo goal coming from La Liga. Don Balon reports that Lionel Messi believes that Ronaldo is past his prime. Further, it also reported that Messi said that Ronaldo would not score as many goals as the Argentinian at the end of this season.
Barcelona this season:
Barcelona’s performance as a team has put real hard work in the first phase of La Liga, with only four goals conceded in the entire league, which is also the best defensive record for any side this season. FIFA’s awards, while intended to be reflective of individual performances, often take how an individual’s team has fared into consideration.
The skipper of the Barcelona side Andres Iniesta, however, has backed his teammate Messi to break more records following his 600th appearance for the club against Seville last Sunday.
“Messi’s 600th appearance? It’s a lot of games and it’s very difficult to reach a figure like that,” he said.
“But the 600 games are certainly far below what he’ll end up achieving and hopefully [more appearances] can be accompanied by more trophies,” he concluded with high praise for the striker.