Sunday, July 12, 2020
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Last night Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the FIFPro World Footballer of the Year. The award, voted for by fellow professionals, is the first of three major individual awards the Portugeezer is widely expected to recieve, along with the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Balon d’Or.


It is without doubt that the Manchester United man deserves to win all three awards. Barring greater international success, Ronaldo could do little more than he did last year. His performances throughout the season for United were consistently brilliant and the statistics highlight that. The winger netting 42 times in 2007/2008, guiding Manchester United to Premier League and Champion’s League triumphs. 

Ronaldo’s closets rivals for the most prestigious Balon d’Or are Iker Casillas, Fernando Torres and Lionel Messi. The performances of Casillas and Torres at Euro 2008 were key to Spain’s victory, and Messi capped an relatively average season for Barcelona by guiding Argentina to gold Beijing.

In spite of Ronaldo’s own self-belief – “I am the best in the world” – he would do well to perhaps err slightly on the side of caution. It is said that greater weighting is given to international achievements by the 96 journalists who vote for the prize. This was illustrated by World Cup winner Fabio Canvarro being the recipient in 2006 following a calamitous first season at Real Madrid.

Ronaldo is still odds-on favourite for both awards and the only deserving winner; so expect to see awkward, tuxedoed players and managers spouting platitudes and heaping facile praise upon one another in the general scrum of self-congratulatory back slapping. As Ronaldo lifted the FIFPro award last night Manchester United manager Alex Fergusson hailed his young charge’s “bravery and courage”. “I am a Manchester United player and I might be here next year,” replied the brave Cristiano.


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