Jose Mourinho once gave surprising explanation for Lionel Messi’s potential dominance over Cristiano Ronaldo in Ballon d’Or

The Messi-Ronaldo debate has indeed been a long-standing and passionate discussion among football fans. The rivalry between the two has sparked numerous debates, with supporters of each player often arguing over who is the better player. These debates can take many forms, including comparisons of individual accolades and team achievements, playing styles, and more.

In the ongoing debate between two of the sport’s greatest, the number of Ballon d’Or awards each player has won is a prominent point of discussion. Between them, they have collectively won an astounding total of 12 Ballon d’Or awards. However, Lionel Messi holds the edge in this regard, having won more Ballon d’Or awards than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mourinho’s unusual take on Messi’s triumph over Ronaldo

The great Portuguese coach, Jose Mourinho, once shared a theory on why Lionel Messi will win more Ballon d’Or awards than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Who the better player is has always been a subject of controversy, but soon enough, the Ballon d’Or award became the metric for evaluating their greatness. Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or first in 2008, but Messi, who had not won any at the time, came from behind to amass a total of seven Ballon d’Ors, two more than Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, Lionel Messi is considered one of the favorites for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.

via Business Insider

“I keep saying that it’s harder to be Cristiano than to be Messi. Messi grew up in the team he plays for with his teammates. Cristiano came from England to a team that was losing. He had to grow in the last 2 years with this team in construction.”

“Messi plays as a 9 or 9.5 in about 50 squared metres, closer to the goal with LESS defensive work. Cristiano, on the other hand, is a winger. How can a winger score the same amount of goals as a CF?.”

“So if Cristiano doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or, it is because he isn’t very kind, doesn’t sell his image very well, doesn’t give interviews apologising for strife with a teammate on the field,” Jose Mourinho said.

The Roma manager added, “[The] Ballon d’Or should be given to the best ones. [The award] should be given to those who deserve them. It’s a pity I cannot vote because I wouldn’t think twice.”

How many games did Ronaldo play under Mourinho?

An extraordinary accumulation of goals marked Cristiano Ronaldo’s tenure at Real Madrid, including assists and trophies, showcasing his prolificity and influence on the team. He set numerous records during his time at the club and is widely considered one of, if not the greatest, players in Real Madrid’s history.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The 38-year-old forward had an impressive time under Manuel Pellegrini and Sir Alex Fergusson, but he was flying under Jose Mourinho.

According to TransferMarkt, during his time at Real Madrid under the leadership of his compatriot, Cristiano Ronaldo scored an astonishing 168 goals and provided 49 assists in 164 games. These statistics underscore his incredible goal-scoring prowess and the incredible heights he reached under Jose Mourinho.

Ronaldo was on a Ballon d’Or drought before he played for Jose Mourinho, but as soon as he began playing under Jose, his Ballon d’Or drought of nearly 5 years ended when he beat Frank Ribery to the award in 2013.

Who is going to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or? Tell us your predictions in the comments.


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