Cristiano Ronaldo

As the Ballon d’Or approaches, it becomes clearer and clearer there should only be one winner – Cristiano Ronaldo. Even if he hasn’t won a single title this year and his national team might not even make it to the World Cup, his amazing scoring rate this year and especially this season, being a more efficient goal producer than the best striking partnerships around Europe.

He has already scored 24 goals this season in only 17 matches. Lionel Messi, struggling with injuries, isn’t close on his own, but even when you add Alexis Sanchez’ tally to his numbers, the second best goalscorer for Barcelona, you end up with only 23 goals. It’s not always wise to measure a player by the goals he scores, but it’s hard to ignore the impact Ronaldo is having this year on Real Madrid, even when they’re supposed to get rid of the one-man team syndrome.

The PSG striking duo of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani isn’t too far behind, but they too fall short of Ronaldo’s accomplishments, scoring 23 goals so far this season. Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus, maybe the most exciting duo to watch in Europe, are just behind with 22 goals.

The newly formed power of Arsenal is mostly about Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud this season, but the two don’t look that impressive when they’re compared to the Portuguese star, scoring 19 goals between them. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have less matches to play, and have combined to score 16 goals, just as much as the Manchester United stars, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

Ronaldo is quite far off the 92 goals Lionel Messi scored in one calendar year (2012), having no chance of breaking the record unless he hat tricks his way through the rest of 2013, but that was a freak year by Messi which didn’t win him any team titles except for the Copa Del Rey. By FIFA’s logic, Ronaldo deserves the award more than anyone else, even if the popular choice for best player in the world is Lionel Messi.

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