Ex-Premier League star throws dig at underperforming Cristiano Ronaldo after Ballon d’Or snub

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been fierce rivals on the pitch for more than 15 years now. The pair duked it out during the El Clasico matches of the 2010s era when Messi played for Barcelona and Ronaldo for Real Madrid. Both of them pushed each other to reach their best on the pitch.

They have also divided soccer fans for a long time, with fans having a preference for one over the other, in what is the most divisive debate in modern times. This has also spilled over to soccer professionals, such as Robbie Savage who recently gave his choice in the never-ending debate.

Robbie Savage said Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or snub was justified

This year’s Ballon d’Or list saw the omission of one of the best ever, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward was absent from the nomination list for the first time in 20 years, with his first one in 2003. His disappointing departure from Manchester United to Saudi side Al Nassr, and the World Cup failure with Portugal played a pivotal role. However, his rival Lionel Messi is the favorite to win the award for the eighth time, after winning the World Cup with Argentina.

Fans have criticized the organizers for leaving the five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or award from the list, citing his performances with Al Nassr. However, the former Premier League player Robbie Savage believes that the decision to leave Ronaldo out was correct.

Goodbye, Cristiano Ronaldo  Ballon d'Or snub is another sad sign of  Al-Nassr superstar's irrelevance as Europe continues to forget about one of  the game's GOATs | Goal.com India

In an interview with Planet Sport, the Welshman said why he thought so, “For the first time in 20 years there’s no Cristiano Ronaldo and to be fair, that’s probably correct. Half the season at Manchester United he didn’t perform to what we know Cristiano Ronaldo can do.”

He also said that scoring goals in the Saudi league is not enough for a Ballon d’Or nomination. “Then goes to Saudi, scores goals but scoring goals in a Saudi league for half a season doesn’t nominate you for the Ballon d’Or. I think it’s right that Cristiano Ronaldo was not in it for the first time in 20 years.”

Messi’s World Cup win gives him an edge over Cristiano Ronaldo

Robbie also picked out a clear winner of the upcoming Ballon d’Or winner. He justified his choice in Lionel Messi saying, “You look at Lionel Messi’s form for PSG, it wasn’t that great. But it’s a World Cup year and Messi in that World Cup was absolutely superb. Got his hands on that trophy. He’s an absolute icon, an idol. This will be Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or.”

The World Cup win in 2022 elevated Messi to the higher position in his never-ending debate with Cristiano Ronaldo. The famous debate on who is better may rage on, but on paper, it seems the World Cup has made Messi rise above Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi: The legend looking for a new record in the World 11 - FIFPRO  World Players' Union

Ronaldo is currently still playing for Portugal and has been performing well for them under new manager Roberto Martinez. It is unclear if he can participate in the next World Cup in 2026, as he will be 41 years old at the time.

Portugal could assemble a good squad by then and possibly challenge for the World Cup. If Ronaldo decides to play for them then and somehow manages to win the World Cup, he could be back in the debate.

What do you think? Has the World Cup made Lionel Messi win the GOAT debate? Or does Ronaldo have a say yet? Let us know in the comments below!

Fazal Al Bashar

481 articles

Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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