Portugal captain and Real Madrid striker, Cristiano Ronaldo has an opportunity to outclass his head-to-head rival and the current FIFA World Best Player, Lionel Messi in the ongoing EURO 2012. Ronaldo’s performance will determine whether he will snatch the mantle from Messi.
The inability of both football magicians to lift UEFA Champions League trophy this season have precipitated them into a dodgy situation over who will be the next FIFA World Best Player. Meanwhile, EURO tournament may afford Ronaldo adequate edge over Messi for the title.
Ronaldo believes the pressure is off his country as it has begun to gird up its loins for a daunting task in the group of death at Euro 2012.
After being forced to qualify via the play-offs for the tournament, the Portuguese are not being talked up as potential champions, especially as they share Group B with Germany and the Netherlands. Portugal lost to Germany in their first match, dampening its hope of sailing through the group stage.
“We know we are in the group of death with Germany, Netherlands and the team who knocked us out (to the play-off) in the qualification phase, which was Denmark,” Ronaldo said in an interview. “Those are going to be some very tough matches but I am confident we will go past the group phase. I know we will not be favourites,” he added.
While he would love to captain Portugal to a first major success, Ronaldo said he expected Spain to retain the title. “I don’t think there will be surprises in this Euro, Spain is very strong and there are teams right behind them which are also very tough so I don’t think there will be any surprises,” he said. Having missed out on the trophy in Euro 2004 when host Portugal was beaten by Greece in the final, Ronaldo’s form will be vital.
If Ronaldo can lead his team to EURO glory, there is a clear prospect that he will supersede Messi for the world best title. Messi has won the world best title for three consecutive times and will set a brand new record if he wins it again. But, his chances of retaining it are awfully slim owing to his failure in the UEFA Champions League and not being part of any tournament of great magnitude this year.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to be named ahead of Lionel Messi as the next FIFA world player of the year. Messi has carried off the accolade in each of the last three years, collecting his third award in January.
But Mourinho believes Ronaldo would be a worthy winner when the awards come around again, pointing out that a huge part of Real’s Primera Division success this season came due to the remarkable goal scoring feats of the former Manchester United forward.
Although Ronaldo’s 46 league goals were not enough to beat Barcelona’s Messi to the title of the league’s top scorer - known as the Pichichi - they steered Madrid to the title. And for that reason Mourinho believes his 27-year-old compatriot should be rewarded by FIFA when Ballon d’Or voting takes place.
The Madrid boss told Portuguese TV station SIC: “Cristiano has to win the Ballon d’Or, not because he has been the top goalscorer, he was that already last season, but because his goals have delivered a title.
Messi scored 50 goals that weren’t worth anything, in the same way that Cristiano scored 42 last season; that didn’t stand for anything. He hasn’t been able to win the Pichichi and I believe he should be compensated with the Ballon d’Or.”
Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that he is sick and tired of the comparisons between him and Lionel Messi but believes the pair push each other to keep improving. Since Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid in 2009, his goals battle with Barcelona forward Messi has captured the imagination in the Primera Division.
In the recently-completed season Ronaldo hit a remarkable 46 goals in 38 appearances, but Messi struck a scarcely believable 50 goals in 37 matches.
The Portuguese believes it is futile to debate which player is better, but is inspired by his opposite number’s high standards.
“Sometimes it makes me tired, for him too because they compare us together all the time,” he told CNN World Sport. “You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Porsche because it’s a different engine. You cannot compare them. He does the best things for Barcelona, I do the best things for Madrid, so the number (of goals) everyone says ‘it’s incredible’.
For him and for me because we beat our own records, so it’s amazing. I think we push each other sometimes in the competition. This is why the competition is so high. This is why Madrid and Barcelona are the best teams in the world because everyone pushes each other.”
Ronaldo also spoke about his first La Liga title, which Madrid secured with a 100-point haul. He was clearly delighted to usurp Barca but conceded it would be tough to enjoy such a successful season again. “My high point is to win the title here in Madrid,” he said. “It was my first time, so I was so happy because it’s my best moment in Madrid, the most important trophy.
In terms of individual, it was great for me, the goals that I scored, to break my own record to do 100 points in the Spanish league, which is a record too. It’s phenomenal. I think it’s hard to have a better year than this one. For me this is the most difficult league in the world. To compete with Barcelona, as everyone knows is very complicated and we beat them.”
Turning to his own future, Ronaldo declared himself happy at the Bernabeu but declined to make any long-term predictions. “The future? Nobody knows. (But) I feel very happy here. It’s a great club, fantastic fans...it’s great. “In one year or two you never know.
A man’s head is always complicated.”