It’s time to talk about the five things that must happen for Cristiano Ronaldo to match Lionel Messi’s tally of six Ballon d’Or awards in 2020.
Cristiano Ronaldo may have won a Serie A MVP prize on Monday night, but it won’t take away the feeling of disappointment knowing that Lionel Messi has won a record sixth Ballon d’Or.
The Portuguese star has struggled to reach his usual abnormal levels at Juventus since arriving in 2018. In fact, he’s only managed seven goals and two assists in 16 appearances across all competitions this season.
To be fair, though, Ronaldo has been playing with a knee injury for several weeks. It’s clearly had an impact on his performances, with Maurizio Sarri’s tactics not helping matters either.
But, if he keeps going like this, then Ronaldo can kiss goodbye to any hope of a sixth Ballon d’Or. Therefore, it’s time for a change and a review of the current situation.
So, without further ado, we give you the five main things that must happen for Ronaldo to get his 2020 Ballon d’Or hopes back on track.
Juventus must invest in better talent
They may be the Serie A champions, but Juventus simply don’t have the talent required to challenge in Europe.
It’s become a real burden for Ronaldo, who is sorely missing the quality support he enjoyed at Real Madrid.
There was nothing quite like having Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco supplying him with superb service. While Karim Benzema selflessly focused on supporting Ronaldo in the attack regularly.
This is a serious issue that must be addressed immediately.
Champions League glory a must
If there is one thing that can get Ronaldo back on top then it’s reclaiming his throne in the Champions League.
It’s clear that the 34-year-old has unfinished business in the tournament after failing to deliver at the first time of asking for Juventus last season.
Despite leading one of the greatest comebacks in history against Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo couldn’t get Juventus past a young Ajax team in the quarter-final stage of the competition.
Therefore, European glory is a must for the Portuguese star this season.
He can also take inspiration from the Virgil van Dijk, who literally became a Ballon d’Or favourite through his Champions League performances.
The Sarri situation has to be resolved
The Ronaldo and Sarri drama has become the biggest topic recently, with the Juventus coach controversially substituting his star player in the games against Lokomotiv Moscow and AC Milan.
While the pair have played down the incident, rumours persist over an ongoing feud.
Antonio Cassano fueled this on Monday by claiming that “Ronaldo has a big problem with Sarri”. He then accused Juventus of trying to brush the issue under the carpet.
Should this be true, then it’s the last thing Ronaldo needs now. How can he possibly win a Ballon d’Or like this?
So Juventus must finally take action on the Sarri situation.
Euro 2020 glory
Surviving the “Group of death” will be a huge challenge for Ronaldo and Portugal next summer.
Fernando Santos’ men will face Germany, France and a team from the qualification playoffs, which will take place in March, in Group F. Clearly, they got their work cut out.
Should Ronaldo help Portugal progress and win Euro 2020, however, it will set-up him up nicely in the Ballon d’Or race.
Players who thrive during the summer international tournaments normally become strong Ballon d’Or candidates. Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro (2006 winner) and Luka Modric of Croatia, who won it last year, are perfect examples for this.
Must resolve his injury problems
Juventus are currently playing with fire by continually playing Ronaldo in his injured state. If they’re not careful, the gamble could backfire and result in a lengthy layoff for the Real Madrid legend.
With his 35th birthday less than three months away, Ronaldo must take precautions even when he doesn’t like it.
So, it’s imperative that Sarri makes his star player’s well-being a priority for a change. There is simply no point taking this unnecessary risk any further.
They got a last-16 spot in the Champions League sealed, and don’t really need Ronaldo for the Serie A. So why not give him the rest he desperately needs right now?