Cristiano Ronaldo has had one of the best 12 month of his career and has been nominated for the FIFA Ballon d'Or for a fourth successive time. It is this author’s opinion that he is the firm favourite to win the award for the second year running.
Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or for a first time in 2008 while still at Manchester United and, until last year, had been pipped to the individual gong by Lionel Messi at each ceremony between.
He is nominated alongside Messi once again, with Manuel Neuer also on the shortlist, but this is why Ronaldo should win by a clear distance...
He scored more goals than anyone else in 2014
The Real Madrid forward completely dominated the offensive stats for the calendar year. Scoring 62 goals in 62 appearances in all competitions for club and country he also contributed 22 assists. He scored considerably more than Lionel Messi who managed 57 goals and 21 assists.
Became fastest player to reach 200 La Liga goals
Yes, Lionel Messi became La Liga’s all-time top goal scorer this year but you have to remember that he’s been in that league a whole lot longer than Cristiano Ronaldo has.
Joining Spain’s top flight in 2009, Ronaldo became the fastest player to reach 200 La Liga goals earlier this season and since he broke the record he now has 203. His goals per game average in the league is a staggering 1.13 compared to Messi’s 0.88.
Most goals in a Champions League season
Among the records he broke in 2014 was the most goals scored in one Champions League season. In the 2013/14 season Ronaldo bagged himself 17 goals on the way to winning the competition. The previous holder was of course Lionel Messi, who shared it with Jose Altafini with 14 strikes.
Most hat-tricks in La Liga
Just a few weeks ago Cristiano Ronaldo bagged his 23rd hat-trick in Real Madrid colours breaking the record for most trebles in the division. The legendary Zarra and Alfredo Di Stefano held the record before with 22. And for Ronaldo to have achieved that feat in just five and half seasons is absolutely incredible!
Won four trophies in 2014
While Madrid missed out on La Liga glory last season Cristiano Ronaldo was still able to inspire Los Blancos to the Champions League, Copa Del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. Lionel Messi on the other hand won an impressive zero trophies last term.