Following his masterful performance in the recent Clasico, all the post-match talk was centred about Lionel Messi and how the Barcelona icon had once again cemented his status as the world’s best footballer following stiff competition from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo flattered to deceive in the 3-2 defeat at the Bernabeu while Messi netted two goals, including the all-important winner with the final kick of the match.
But Ronaldo is made of stern stuff and always responds in style whenever people doubt him.
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The Portuguese star scored in his next appearance again Valencia, six days after the Clasico, and then bagged a stunning hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday night.
The perfect response.
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Ronaldo the favourite to win 2017 Ballon d'Or
Ronaldo’s odds of winning a joint-record fifth Ballon d’Or award have subsequently shortened to 1/3 - Messi is currently the 7/2 second favourite - and those odds will plummet further should Madrid win La Liga and/or the Champions League over the coming weeks.
Equalling Messi’s Ballon d’Or record would be some achievement by Ronaldo, who trailed the Barcelona forward 4-1 back in 2012.
Ronaldo isn’t the same dynamic player he once was but he’s transformed his game over the past couple of seasons and for that he deserves immense credit.
Guillem Balague summed it up nicely earlier this week by tweeting: “CR7 has the worst stats of his Real era. He's in (physical) decline, only blind cant see it. But now as a striker, he's the best 9 in world.”
Ronaldo used to roast opponents for fun
But it shouldn’t be forgotten that Ronaldo, during his spell with Manchester United and at the beginning of his Madrid career, roasted opposition players for fun.
His lightning-quick pace, brute strength and mesmeric skill made for a devastating combination. Opposition full-backs must have absolutely hated playing against him.
Watch: Ronaldo destroys great players
To remind us all that Ronaldo was once much more than the prolific goalscorer he is these days, ‘Mo7nd’ has uploaded a fantastic 10-minute video showing the Portugal international destroying some of the best players of the previous and current generation.
The likes of Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Diego Godin, plus a host of top goalkeepers and Barcelona players - yep, including Messi - all feature.
It’s well worth watching and you can check it out here…
(You may need to click 'Watch on YouTube' due to copyright issues)
Seen the video of Messi destroying great players?
And in case you haven’t seen it, check out the recent video of Messi embarrassing great players by clicking HERE.
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