There aren't too many certainties in life, but Cristiano Ronaldo winning this year's Ballon d'Or is as good as a sure thing as there is possible to be.
Carrying on where he left off after his single-handed demolition of Sweden at the back end of last season, the Portuguese has added trophies to the high number of goals that has become his calling card.
Even Lionel Messi's dismantling of the all-time La Liga and Champions League records are in vain, as is the Argentine's World Cup finals best player accolade.
Ronaldo the clear winner
There hasn't been anyone even close to Madrid's finest this year.
When Michel Platini decided to jump on the Sepp Blatter gaffe train and suggest that "a German" should win it, the football family should've taken the comment with a pinch of salt.
After all, the Frenchman couldn't actually name who he thought deserved it from the German team, and given that it's an individual rather than team award, it's probably best that the comment was treated with the contempt it deserved, with no further comment needed.
However, Real Madrid found it necessary to clarify the position via their official website: "In view of the declarations made by the president of UEFA, Michel Platini, concerning the winner of the Ballon d'Or, Real Madrid C. F. would like to outline:
"Firstly, its surprise at the repeated declarations regarding his personal preferences over the choice of the winner of the Ballon d'Or, particularly given that he is the head of European football's principal body, where our understanding is that the strictest impartiality should prevail.
"Secondly, the Ballon d'Or is an individual rather than collective prize which is awarded annually to the best player in the world, and we believe that, in order to maintain its prestige, those who participate in the vote should take into account exclusively the individual professional achievements of the players.
"Finally, we believe that Cristiano Ronaldo has without doubt had his best ever professional year individually, and has claimed the Champions League, the Golden Shoe and the record for the highest goalscorer in an edition of the Champions League, as well as the Copa del Rey and the top-scorer award in La Liga.
In the current season, he has won the European Super Cup, scoring both goals in the match, and is achieving spectacular figures such as his 20 goals in the first 12 matchdays of La Liga, which confirm his great moment of form and ensure that, more than ever, he is deserving of the Ballon d'Or."
That the current La Liga leaders have given Platini's comments further oxygen is embarrassing enough in itself, but the detail and manner with which they have elevated their man is toe-curling.
FIFA under fire
If anything, they have heaped further pressure on an organisation already reeling from the way in which last years accolade was awarded, after it was widely reported that Lionel Messi was the winner, only for the voting to be reopened once Ronaldo had secured his country's passage to Brazil.
In any event, sometimes less is more and perhaps Real Madrid could do with remembering that in future.
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