According to the world’s international team managers and captains, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the best footballer on the planet over the course of 2017 - by a distance.
The Portuguese superstar received a whopping 43.16 per cent of the votes, with Messi securing 19.25 per cent and Neymar 6.97 per cent, for FIFA’s ‘The Best’ award.
The outcome came as no surprise. Ronaldo was the overwhelming favourite to win the coveted individual accolade after helping Real Madrid win both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League last season.
But was Ronaldo a worthy winner?
If the award is judged on team success and individual contribution, then you could argue that yes, Ronaldo is entirely deserving of his latest honour.
The 32-year-old scored 42 goals in 46 matches last season, two of which came in the Champions League final.
However, Ronaldo has underwhelmed during the opening months of the current campaign, only managing to find the back of the net once in five league matches.
Messi has enjoyed a magnificent 2017
On the other hand, Messi, who finished second in the voting for FIFA’s award, has already scored 11 La Liga goals in nine appearances this term.
Messi was magnificent for Barça last season, scoring 54 goals in all competitions, including one in the Copa del Rey final.
He also produced a performance for the ages in last season’s Clasico at the Bernabeu, scoring a last-gasp winner for the Catalan giants, and single-handedly inspired Argentina to World Cup qualification earlier this month.
There’s certainly an argument to suggest that Messi has been the most impressive player - on an individual level - in 2017.
Video: Does this show Messi has been 2017's best player?
And one Messi fan has added further weight to this argument by producing a two-minute video of some of the Argentine’s most impressive moments from the past 10 months.
Watch it here...
Has Ronaldo really been better than *that* this season?
Other people on Twitter are arguing for Messi
Here are some other stats that suggest it’s actually Messi who’s been 2017’s outstanding player…
Who’s been the best player in 2017: Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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