They may not have been at their best this season but Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continue to lead the two biggest football clubs on the planet in Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. The numbers that both the superstars have produced this season may be insignificant due to the unbelievable benchmark that they have set in the past but they still belittle the achievements of their closest rivals. With Ballon d’Or approaching fast, the routine debate of who will be the worthy winner of the most-coveted individual trophy in football is picking up momentum as well.

2016/17 was undoubtedly the season of Cristiano Ronaldo as he conquered UEFA European Championship in 2016 and, won UEFA Champions League and La Liga titles in the subsequent year. He was phenomenal in both domestic and continental competitions for Real Madrid scoring 42 goals in 46 appearances. His incredible exploits deservedly earned him the Ballon d’Or 2016. On other hand, his fierce rival Lionel Messi had an underwhelming year on all fronts. The Argentine scored a whopping 54 goals in just 52 games across all competitions but he failed to land any silverware.

In the current 2017/18 season, Ronaldo had a poor start to the La Liga and his abysmal run in the Spanish league still continues as he has scored just 2 goals in 10 appearances so far. But the Portuguese have been absolutely sensational in the Champions League netting 12 goals in 13 games. The highest goalscorer of all time in Champions League history became the first footballer to score in every game of CL’s group stages. While Lionel Messi has witnessed an underwhelming continental championship this season as he has scored 3 goals in 6 games. But he continues to lead the goal scoring charts of La Liga with 13 goals.

Both Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the Ballon d’Or stage for almost a decade but apparently, their celestial level of football has taken a downslide. This year’s Ballon d’Or might go to Real Madrid talisman, which will bring him on par with Lionel Messi with five trophies, but its time the young blood takes on the mantle. With a host of magnificent players in Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Paulo Dybala, Eden Hazard and many others; it’s only a matter of time when Ballon d’Or winner will be announced on a chilly evening in Zurich and it will not be Ronaldo or Messi.