As ever, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are overwhelming favourites for the Ballon d’Or title.
Here is the case for Portugal star Ronaldo to win the 2012 award.
You can read the case for Messi here.
10. Messi’s goal “record” is both meaningless and dubious
Fans of Lionel Messi will point to the Argentine’s record-breaking goal-haul in 2012 as evidence of his Ballon d’Or credentials.
But barring the most nerdy football anorak, can anyone honestly say they had heard of Gerd Mueller’s original feat before Messi began closing in, and the media were whipped up into a sycophantic frenzy of excitement? Records have always been about seasons, rather than calendar years.
What’s more, it’s dubious that Messi is the even record-holder after legitimate-sounding claims from Brazil’s Zico and Zambia’s Godrey Chitalu were waved away by FIFA. You can bet if Ronaldo had claimed the “record”, then the governing body would be much more willing to examine Chitalu’s claims.