Ballon d’or 2014December 8, 2014
roughly 40 days away from the illustrious ceremony where we will all get to know the name of the best player in the World in 2014, FIFA revealed the final 3 candidates to win the Ballon d’Or 2014. The ceremony will be held in Zurich next January 12 and even though the voting deadline already expired on November 21, it was only made public earlier this Monday that the podium will be occupied by Real Madrid‘sCristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich‘s Manuel Neuer. As we’ll be analyzing below, each of these players had their own merits during the year, but only one of them will get to be crowned as the best player in the World in 2014.
The FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014 candidates: Ronaldo, Messi and Neuer:
Let’s start by pointing out that the Portuguese star has probably had one of his best season ever both on an individual and team spectrum basis. He finished the last La Liga campaign as the undisputed top scorer, after netting 31 goals in 30 appearances. He has beaten Lionel Messi (28) and Diego Costa (27) in that particular race, even though it ended up being Atletico Madrid who clinched the Spanish League title in last May. Barcelona finished second and Real Madrid had to settle with an unusual and surprising 3rd place.
It would be in the European stages however, that Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to be destined to outshine everyone around him. After many years chasing La Décima,Real Madrid finally had a truly triumphant journey in the UEFA Champions League, wrapping up the title for the 10th time in the club’s history. As expected, Ronaldoplayed a decisive role in the whole campaign, leading the Merengues to important wins throughout the tournament and breaking the competition’s goalscoring record by finding the back of the net in 17 occasions in only 11 appearances.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup didn’t turn out to produce many great memories for bothRonaldo and the Portuguese National Team. The 29-year old forward was the nation’s hero on that unforgettable 2-leg World Cup playoff against Sweden, but then failed to keep carrying his side on his shoulders during the tournament’s final stages.Portugal didn’t go beyond the 3rd place in Group G, where they fell behind bothGermany and the USA. Ronaldo only scored once in his 3 tournament’s appearances…