Cristiano Ronaldo admitted in 2015 that he wanted to play alongside former Ballon d’Or rivals Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer.
All three superstars are vying for 2014 individual honors. Ronaldo and Messi play for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Neuer, on the other hand, was a member of the 2014 World Cup-winning Germany squad and was omnipresent on the pitch at Bayern Munich.
Before the tournament in January 2015, Ronaldo expressed his admiration for the two rivals, saying (quoted by Football Espanyol):
“I would love to play in the same team as Messi and Neuer. That would have been nice in the past but I’m not so sure that will happen in the future. Still, it would be great to play with them. “
In 2014, Ronaldo finally won the Ballon d’Or with 37.66% of the votes. Messi ranked second with 15.76% of the votes, while Neuer ranked third with 15.72% of the votes.
Ahead of the awards ceremony, Ronaldo said achieving collective and individual success throughout the season was more important than winning the Ballon d’Or. The Portuguese ace said:
“I think (the Ballon d’Or) is not important, what is important is what I have achieved together and individually with the team. Of course, my goal is to go down in the history of football. I have always said this and it will not change. It will be a It’s a happy thing, but I’m happy now.”
When did Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi first share the Ballon d’Or podium together?
2007 was the first time Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi tied for the top three in the Ballon d’Or. Brazilian legend Kaka was the winner of the award that year.
Ronaldo ranks second with 277 points, followed by Messi with 255 points. Ronaldo first won the award in 2008 and Messi in 2009.
Since then, the two modern superstars have won the award a total of 12 times. Ronaldo has five wins, while Messi has seven. The two competed for the award as individuals since 2008, until 2018 when Luka Modric became the first player not named Ronaldo or Messi to win the award.