It doesn’t change. Cristiano Ronaldo keeps wishing, hoping, thinking, that another year means finally some recognition from award-givers; then he gets the news, and a slap in the face? La Liga player of the year for 2011-2012? Who else, but Lionel Messi, who didn’t lead Barcelona to the league title, but set a new scoring record with 50 goals.
Scoring more goals wasn’t enough for Cristiano Ronaldo the previous season. Messi and Barcelona won the league title, so Ronaldo decided thought that it should be the tie-breaker this time. Nope. Messi wins the award for the fourth consecutive time while Ronaldo, who keeps hyping himself up through interviews and such is left disappointed once again. Until when?
He needs to understand these aren’t the Oscars. No matter how much he talks and builds himself up in the media, it won’t help until he can actually prove on the pitch that he’s the better player. Winning the title with Real Madrid wasn’t enough, even if he did score “only” 46 goals, which would have been enough for the new record. Still, Messi was simply just a tad above everyone else last season, again. Not just the goals, but his vitality to Barcelona, who would have finished sixth in the league without his assists and obviously him scoring.
At least two Real Madrid players did win awards – Iker Casillas for best Spanish goalkeeper, Xabi Alonso for best midfielder. The Casillas one is interesting to me because during the Ronaldo “I’m sad” phase, one of the speculated reasons for his sudden “depression” was some players in the dressing room not backing him up to win the Ballon d’Or; instead, some of them, probably the Spanish players, were hoping that Iker Casillas would win it.
It’s not just a battle of ability and numbers, it’s a battle of egos. Voters might not be aware, but behavior on the pitch has its effect on their decisions. Cristiano Ronaldo’s behavior during matches certainly doesn’t help him. Messi has gotten to be a bit more edgy this season – arguing with teammates (especially David Villa) and referees more than he did in the past, but it’s still no comparison to Ronaldo – diving, trying to win handballs and such every opportunity he has, not to mention the sour faces and rival taunting.
He may be more interesting to watch, but all that attention grabbing (some of it on purpose, no matter what he says about simply taking the game too seriously) doesn’t really help his cause to finish above Messi when it comes to individual awards.