It is well known that the past decade of football has been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo. Both have also been involved in a race to become the footballer with the most Ballon d’Or wins. In this article, we will look at the Six times Cristiano Ronaldo finished second in the Ballon d’Or rankings.
#6 2007 – 277 points
Cristiano Ronaldo announced himself as an elite forward in the 2006-07 season. After the 2006 World Cup, the whole of England hated him for his wink after Rooney’s red card. Rather than being bogged down by the surrounding noise, Ronaldo used it as a catalyst to enhance his performance.
He scored 17 goals in the Premier League and three goals in the Champions League. In the Ballon d’Or race, he finished second to Ricardo Kaka who had won the Champions League in 2007.
#5 2009 – 233 points
After winning the Ballon d’Or in 2008, Ronaldo was once again among the favorites to win it in 2009. Ronaldo completed a three-peat of Premier League titles in 2009 and was also a Champions League finalist. He scored 18 goals in the league and three goals in the Champions League.
Ronaldo also won the League Cup in 2009, but his rival Messi won an unprecedented continental treble. Hence, Ronaldo finished second to Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or with 473 points.
#4 2011 – 21.60% votes
In the 2010 Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo failed to break into the top three. In the 2010-11 season, Mourinho’s Madrid were involved in a fierce rivalry with Pep’s Barcelona. Real Madrid lost the League by 4 points, but managed to win the Copa Del Rey, thanks to Ronaldo’s brilliant header.
#3 2012 – 23.68% votes
Ronaldo finally won La Liga in 2012 after trying and failing in his first two seasons at Real Madrid. Ronaldo scored 46 goals in the League and also helped Madrid set a new League record for goals and points. In the Champions League quarter-finals, Ronaldo missed a penalty in the shoot-out and Real Madrid were knocked out of the tournament. Although Messi did not win the Champions League or La Liga, he won the Ballon d’Or due to his titanic goal-scoring feats.
#2 2015 – 27.76% votes
Quite uncharacteristically, Ronaldo picked Messi as the favorite to win the 2015 Ballon d’Or in a TV show. He was right as Messi’s second continental treble proved to be the difference in the Ballon d’Or race. Ronaldo won the European golden boot and was the joint top-scorer in the Champions League. But he did not win any major trophies and hence was not a favorite for the Ballon d’Or.
Messi won the 2015 Ballon d’Or with 41.33% votes, while his teammate Neymar finished third. But 2014-15 was the best individual season in Ronaldo’s career in terms of both goals and assists.
#1 2018 – 478 points
A decade after Kaka won the Ballon d’Or in 2007, Modric won the award, thus ending the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly. Ronaldo was the Champions League top scorer with 15 goals and also had a good World Cup in Russia. But Luka Modrić won the award due to his terrific performance in the World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball award.
Modric was also instrumental in Real Madrid’s Champions League success. The 2018 Ballon d’Or ceremony was not attended by both Messi and Ronaldo, which evoked a lot of criticism.