“Cristiano Ronaldo and Pundit’s Amused Take on Lionel Messi’s Controversial Ballon d’Or Wins”
In the ever-epic tale of football’s giants, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, a new chapter unfolded, drenched in the essence of rivalry and camaraderie. Messi, the virtuoso who once again danced his way into history, clinching his eighth Ballon d’Or on a starry Monday night. This staggering achievement places him firmly atop the record books, with Ronaldo trailing by three golden orbs, resting content with his five.
Messi’s coronation was attributed to his mesmerizing performance at the 2022 World Cup. In the quest for glory, he orchestrated seven goals and three assists across seven matches, leading Argentina to their first World Cup triumph since 1986. A hero’s narrative, no doubt.
Yet, the Ballon d’Or judges scrutinize the entirety of a season, and at the club level, Messi’s symphony was more discordant. His stint with Paris Saint-Germain ended on a bitter note, marked by abrupt departure.
Enter Tomas Roncero, the passionate Real Madrid devotee and a scribe for AS and El Chiringuito. With the heart of a true rival, Roncero dissected Messi’s triumph with fervor. He remarked, “As a tribute, okay, I recognize a tribute. They’ve crafted it into a tribute to his career, a magnificent footballing odyssey. But let’s not forget, he’s retired. He’s been in Miami for months now. His PSG days were a year ago. I’ve almost forgotten the Qatar World Cup.”
Roncero further probed Messi’s World Cup goals, primarily penalties, and questioned the authenticity of his Ballon d’Or tally. He suggested that Messi deserved only five, matching Ronaldo’s count. According to Roncero, Xavi and Andres Iniesta deserved the 2012 honor, and Robert Lewandowski deserved the 2021 accolade.
For the current year, Roncero suggested that Manchester City’s treble winners, Erling Haaland and Rodri, should have been top contenders, with a special nod to Rodri for a spot in the top three. Roncero concluded with a sly wink at Messi, reminding him of Barcelona’s 8-2 thrashing by Bayern Munich in 2020.
“In truth, gentlemen, Messi earned five Ballon d’Ors, and three were gifts,” Roncero remarked, with a hint of cheekiness. “But hey, as a tribute to Leo, you’ve contributed immensely to football. We’ll forever cherish your rivalry with Cristiano. The number eight is quite fascinating, you see? It brings back memories of that Lisbon night with Bayern Munich when they scored eight. Not every day is as beautiful, right, Leo?”
In the grand theater of football, the rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo continues to provide an enthralling subplot, a testament to their enduring greatness.