Cristiano Ronaldo's odds of winning a sixth Ballon d'Or have tumbled

Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen: Group D - UEFA Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are running out of time to surpass one another's individual achievements. 

The two have each won the Ballon d'Or five times, but find themselves competing with Virgil van Dijk ahead of the 64th annual ceremony. 

Luka Modric was the first to break their duopoly last year, another indication that it is no longer just goalscorers who are being considered. 

Van Dijk's claim is strengthened by Liverpool's sixth European title and the fact the Reds have lost just one league game this calendar year. 

For many, that makes the Dutchman the favourite. 

Perhaps that's an indication that we've come to take Ronaldo and Messi, both of whom can stake a claim as the greatest of all time, for granted. 

Both won their domestic leagues this year with Juventus and Barcelona respectively. 

Few would begrudge either of them a record sixth Ballon d'Or - and we might be getting a little closer to finding out where the trophy is heading. 

Of the 30-man shortlist, Ronaldo's odds of winning have suddenly taken a tumble, as noted by Bleacher Report's football insider Dean Jones. 

Within 24 hours, Ronaldo went from a 33/1 outsider all the way down to 5/1. Do the bookies know something we don't?

Should the Portuguese triumph, many fans would be in uproar. Juventus winning another Scudetto is essentially par for the course, and Ronaldo didn't match Messi's goalscoring exploits last term. 

The Argentine surpassed the 50-mark in all competitions, whereas Ronaldo managed 27. 

The 34-year-old is off to a decent start in 2019/20 with four goals in seven league games - yet nothing particularly eye-catching by his standards. 

Juventus v Lokomotiv Moskva: Group D - UEFA Champions League

And even amidst Van Dijk's phenomenal rise, Ronaldo is still viewing Messi as his primary rival on the world stage. 

"A lot of people said that we fed each other, that being together in Spain made us better," he told France Football. 

"That's certainly true, I felt his presence more in Madrid than in Manchester. It was a healthy rivalry.

"We were the symbols of our clubs. I think he said recently that he missed me on a competitive level.

"It's always nice to be spoken of in a flattering way. It's nice if they say I've been the best, a fantastic player.

"Today I hear everything they say about me, but when it's all over, at the end of my career, I won't mind because I'll disconnect from everything."

Ronaldo could be about to make even more history. 

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