It’s widely expected that Cristiano Ronaldo will be announced as the winner of his fifth Ballon d’Or trophy on Thursday – rumours even suggest that David Ginola will hand the Portuguese the award, after the duo compare whose hair is best for a few minutes, no doubt.
As always with these awards, the timing of the votes, the long, drawn out process in collating the votes and then the actual announcement of the winner always makes for awkward timing.
Cristiano Ronaldo, and Real Madrid, are currently well off the pace in terms of their own expectations, as Barcelona and Lionel Messi prove there’s life after Neymar.
Not that CR7 will mind on Thursday night, as his ego will be stroked, perhaps, for the last time on the Ballon d’Or stage – even Lionel Messi’s powers, although superhuman still, are showing signs of waning.
So if 2017 is the curtain call for the Ronaldo and Messi duopoly, Twitter is certainly in agreement that Manchester United’s former star is worthy of the award.
With next year, at the very least, signalling a closer contest between the rest of the chasing pack and the two superstars, the forgone conclusion that the award has been since 2009 is hopefully ending.
It’s just a shame for the fellow goalscoring machines on the list that many of them timed their first ever Ballon d’Or inclusion a year too soon, with current form suggesting, a big 2018 is something CR7 and Messi probably won’t be able to deliver.
Interestingly, though, if you do remove the tweets that mention ‘Ballon d’Or’ and ‘Messi’ or ‘Ronaldo’ in them from over the last month, Neymar obviously becomes top dog, but it’s then a Paris Saint-Germain hat-trick with Kylian Mbappe in second place, and Edinson Cavani getting the bronze.
Perhaps that’s an omen for next year’s Ballon d’Or, but make sure you don’t tell Neymar, because current form suggests the Brazilian will find himself behind PSG teammate, Cavani – and the former Santos man will take that really well.