Despite being named in the top three Balon d’Or finalists the conversation about Cristiano taking the title again was lukewarm at best.
He simply hadn’t been producing at his regular pace. Currently just under halfway through his 2015-2016 La Liga campaign and the Portuguese striker has only scored 10 times f0r Los Blancos. Meanwhile, Messi and Neymar continued to produce moments of magic with ease:
But Ronaldo found a serious depth of magic against Malmo, scoring four goals and setting a new record in Champions League competition for eleven goals. Doing so in only six games makes it all the more impressive, and is the most by any player to record in the group stages. His highest ever total was seventeen in the 2013-2014 Champions League cup run.
Is it enough to guarantee him the trophy? Guarantee him that a certain Argentinian nemesis won’t usurp his bid?
No, but previous to this lightning-in-a-bottle performance there was practically no buzz about Ronaldo’s chance.
Neymar has shined brilliantly in the absence of Messi, and Messi reminded everyone of his ability his first game starting back from injury with two goals and an assist.
But poor fortune has fallen on the Barcelona strikers in December.
Neymar has suffered a groin strain, and Lionel Messi may be having calf issues or at least suffered a knock according to footage from Barcelona’s match against Bayern Leverkusen. Messi was excused from training for ‘personal reasons’ earlier this week.
There isn’t a more perfect time than now for Ronaldo to catch fire and storm the polls to claim his fourth Balon d’Or.
If he does, it may be one of the tightest Balon d’Or votes of all time.