Top 3 nominees for Ballon d’or 2016 has been announced and the story is not different then past few years , very obvious Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will resume their positions and Antonio Greizmann ,the French striker after having a brilliant year with Atletico Madrid and national side , has enlisted his name in top 3.The winner will be announced in few days, let’s have a look at stats of all three in calendar year-2016;
Lionel Messi: 58 goals and 34 assists in 61 appearances for club and country.
Cri. Ronaldo: 51 Goals and 17 assists in 55 appearances with club and country.
A.Greizmann: 38 Goals and 15 assists in 63 appearances with club and country.
Fair enough saying all three have done enough to win this award .Lionel Messi, highest goal Scorer and top assist maker of 2016, individually has been the stand out performer of 2016 and he still leads the table of highest goal scorer of laliga and UCL season 16-17.He lead his team to Copa America final as well where Argentina lost against Chile,he could not convert his penalty kick into goal. Messi also failed to make Barcelona progress ahead of Super eight round where they were outclassed by Atletico Madrid. Despite winning Laliga and finishing as top scorer of 2016 his chances of winning Ballon D’or for 6th time are very fade.
Antonio, the sensational young lad ,top scorer of Euro 2016 and best player of Laliga season 15-16, has done everything that can put him there with Messi and Ronaldo in top 3 ,with his brilliant performance he lead Atletico Madrid to UCL final and France to Euro-16 finals scoring in semi finals of both major European competitions but unluckily he lost to Cristiano Ronaldo on both occasions.He also performed exceptionally well in Laliga this year which puts him 2nd to none but Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Despite having very average start of the year, has been the man of crucial moments in 2016. He is the 2nd highest scorer of laliga and highest goal scorer in UCL creating new record of most goals in one UCL Season with 17 goals,scored 3 and assisted 3 goals in Euro 2016. But the thing that puts other two competitors 2nd and 3rd against him is that he performed at most needed moments to win Champions league and lead his National team in winning Euro-16, the first ever mega event in the history of Portugal. He also won Golden ball for his excellent performance in Euro-16. Given below are his 5 most crucial performances that lead his team to win UCL and Euro-16
5-Scored a stunning winner in El-Classico that brought FC Barcelona’s morale quite low in Laliga and Madrid finished 2nd with just 1 point deference which was high as 12 with less than 10 games left.
4- Scored a Brace in a draw against Hungary in last game of group stages when his team needed at least one point to qualify for round of 16 in Euro-16.
3- Scored twice and assisted one goal in tie against Roma in round of 16 of UEFA champions league and made Madrid qualify for super eight round.
2-Scored a brilliant header against Wales in Semi final of Euro-16 leading his team to finals and in result of that they won 1st ever major event. His goal can simply be rated as his most important goal for Portugal in his international career.
1-His most crucial performance and one of the best performance of his career , Wolfburg were 2-0 up in first leg of UCL super eight round, he scored a brilliant hat-trick in return leg including two headers and one deflected free kick , Real Madrid qualified for semi final and picked trophy later beating Greizmann’s Atletico Madrid on penalties.
Looking at above performances and keeping Euro-16 into account, it is easy to say Ronaldo have won crucial moments and definitely should/will win Ballon D’or this year with a decent Margin. Predicted margin of votes is as, 40% Ronaldo,23-28% Messi, 10-15 % Antoine Greizmann.