The role of Cristiano Ronaldo in Luka Modric’s Ballon d’Or triumph
The year when the FIFA World Cup takes place, unarguably, marks an impact over the Ballon d’Or rankings. The same thing happened this year as many players including Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane stood a fair chance to win the Ballon d’Or – an award being dominated by two extraterrestrials, Ronaldo and Messi, respectively, in the past ten years.
However, France Football announced Luka Modric, the winner of the Ballon d’Or 2018, cementing his status as the best football player in the running calendar year. The Croatian captain played a pivotal role in securing Real Madrid’s 3rd Champions League title in succession.
Following a beautiful end to the club football season, the 33-year-old playmaker led his country to their maiden FIFA World Cup final beating big nations like Argentina and England in the run. Croatia failed to win the World Cup final against mighty France, however, the runner-ups secured a spot for their captain, Luka Modric, on the Ballon d’Or podium.
But, would this all have been possible without the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo alongside the Croatian in Real Madrid? Let’s take a look:
Considering the recent history in the last decade or so, the player who has helped his team in winning major titles by scoring a lot of goals has been chosen as the winner. However, this term, a playmaker has secured the award.
Luka Modric provided one assist and scored a goal in the 2017/18 UCL campaign, both coming in the group stages. On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a mammoth number of fifteen goals and set up another three, while scoring six times in the knockout phase.
The 33-year-old Portuguese gave standout performances in the latter stages of the campaign starring against Paris Saint-Germain and his current club, Juventus. Even if Ronaldo is moving on a slow pace in the league games, he comes to life in the UCL and just like past seasons, kept the hopes of Real Madrid alive with his exceptional performances in the decisive games.
Luka Modric deserved a Ballon d’Or for his services in the recent success of Real Madrid in the European competitions. However, it can be said that Ronaldo, as a game-changing player, was more influential with his performances.
None of the two footballers is less-deserving but the history suggests that Ronaldo has had his nose ahead in the race. To be more precise, without the Portuguese, Real Madrid would have struggled in the latter stages of the Champions League.
Wesley Sneijder, Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery failed to do what has been done by the Croatian, though, they all came so close and stood a firm chance to claim the award.
On the other hand, it doesn’t look like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo are done yet. Both the players are still bagging tons of goals, midway through the season in their respective leagues. It remains to see how this season ends for the two and how’ll they rank in the next year’s ceremony.