Why Ronaldo and not Messi?

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 3 8,956

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Ronaldo is favoured to win the coveted award. EFE

Why Ronaldo and not Messi?

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 3 8,956

Just hours away from Ronaldo clinching his fifth Ballon d'Or, we take a look at the reasons why the Real Madrid star is expected to win the award. Messi's 2017 goalscoring figures are better, but the absence of collective triumphs plays a huge part.

A monumental scenery opposite the Eiffel Tower will pay tribute to the best player on the planet. Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the French capital, where he lifted the one and only trophy with his national team in the summer of 2016. This time, he will receive his second successive Ballon d'Or.

A fourth award in five years to bring Ronaldo level with Messi, a mere two weeks after the Argentine received the Golden Shoe given to Europe's top goalscorer. The fierce rivalry has been rekindled in recent times, with Neymar awaiting the chance to pounce. This year, however, collective trophies have tilted the balance in favour of the Real Madrid star.

Messi boasts a better goalscoring record this year. The Barcelona ace has netted 52 times in 59 games in all competitions. Ronaldo was not far behind, banging in 48 goals in 55 fixtures.

Figures that bring to the fore an even contest between the two, but somehow lack importance when comparing last season's successes for their respective clubs. Ronaldo sealed another memorable Champions League campaign with two goals in the final in Cardiff, winning Real Madrid's 'Duodecima' and topping the goalscoring charts in the competition.

His 25 La Liga goals last season inspired Zidane's men to the title, while Barcelona had to settle for the Copa del Rey. In the current season, Madrid lifted the European Supercup and the Spanish Super Copa, the latter against Messi's Barcelona side.

Real Madrid's collective efforts have allowed all attention to be turned to the Portuguese striker as opposed to his arch-nemesis taking the spotligh in Paris. Ronaldo will win his fifth Ballon d'Or, despite being showered with criticism after struggling at the start of the season. He still has much to prove this term, but tonight the focus will be on one of football's biggest accolades.

Patrick Power

Patrick Power

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