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Ballon d’Or 2019: Between Messi and Ronaldo, who is The GOAT?


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The perennial debate between fans of Lionel Messi and that of Cristiano Ronaldo of who the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) is was heightened after the FC Barcelona superstar won his sixth Ballon d’Or award on Monday night in Paris, the capital city of France.

TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports GOAT, otherwise a hardy domesticated ruminant mammal, is an acronym that has been conjured up and used in praises of exceptional athletes, and in some cases, musicians and other public figures.

The acronym is believed to have originated with the release of The GOAT, the eighth studio album of American rapper, LL Cool J, and if one is considered to be the GOAT they are the best ever in their sport, in the likes of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, et al.

On social media, it’s common to see the goat 🐐 emoji in punning relation to the acronym, and one cannot name themselves the GOAT, as it must be given by others otherwise it loses all credibility.

Many Barca fans, including non-Barca fans, who are only just fans of Messi, and even others, who described themselves as lovers of good football, feel the perennial GOAT debate is dead and buried after Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or.

Messi and Ronaldo had been locked on five Ballon d’Or awards each before Messi reclaimed the title he last won in 2015, with the Portuguese claiming the two subsequent gongs in 2016 and 2017.

With the sixth Ballon d’Or award in the coffers of Messi, the Barca superstar has moved one clear of Ronaldo.

Notwithstanding, fans of Ronaldo feel the Juventus man is the GOAT, arguing that Ronaldo had won the Ballon d’Or playing in England, won it playing in Spain, and won it the year he captained his country to glory.

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Do you agree Messi is the GOAT, or Ronaldo is?

Recall Luka Modric surprisingly picked up the accolade last year to end the 10-year dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, Messi changed the narratives by reinventing himself, and producing a sterling performance in the year to claim a tenth La Liga trophy and a Supercopa de Espana, hitting 40 strikes and registering a further 17 assists.

Denied in the final of the Copa del Rey, Messi was on the wrong end of a 4-0 battering at Anfield that saw Liverpool eventually going on to claim the Champions League title.

While Messi did finish as the top scorer in both the Champions League and La Liga, he was, however, unable to inspire his country to silverware at the Copa America, being forced to settle for third place after losing to Brazil in the semi-finals before beating Chile in the playoff.

Before setting the record as the first player in history to win the Ballon d’Or for six times, the FC Barcelona playmaker had earlier picked up the individual FIFA’s ‘The Best’ Men’s award.

Liverpool defender Van Dijk finished second, with team-mates Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane coming in at seventh, fifth and fourth, respectively, as the Reds lifted the Champions League and came within a point of winning their first Premier League trophy, losing just one league game all season.

Ronaldo was left in third place – his lowest ranking since failing to make the podium in 2010. His calendar year remains impressive, but his numbers fall short of the exceedingly high standards the 34-year-old has set over the years.

Meanwhile, Messi has reacted to winning the 2019 Ballon d’Or award after brushing off tight competition from Liverpool FC defender, Virgil van Dijk, and from Juventus talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi expressed thanks to France Football and to journalists who voted for him, while also acknowledging the role his teammates, both those at FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team, played for him to become the winner of the Ballon d’Or award for the sixth time.

“Thanks to France Football and the journalists who voted for me. I couldn’t have won this award without the help of my teammates, both those at FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team, and that’s why this prize is theirs too. Of course, it also belongs to my family, who I dedicate it to, and who give me such great support every day,” he stated shortly after receiving the award.

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