This article is written by Chelsea fan George. Check him out on Twitter @georjecb.
"It's time to change the Ballon d'Or. It's just a popularity contest for the attackers." - Philipp Lahm.
I couldn't agree more with this quote from Lahm. The Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past nine years. They've both been outstanding but ultimately they are both attackers, just like the rest of the candidates. It's hard to judge the quality of footballers when comparing someone like Lionel Messi to Jerome Boateng because obviously it's subjective and statistics encourage voters to choose the player who scores the most goals or gets the most assists, to simplify things. I personally disagree with the entire concept of the Ballon d'Or. Although I think the idea of having a Team of the Year is good, to start trying to compare defenders to attackers is ludicrous.
With that being said, given the current state of the Ballon d'Or and how it has historically been decided, I wanted to offer my opinion on who I think should win this year's edition of competition. Before I start, though, you're probably wondering why I'm discussing the 2017 Ballon d'Or (usually awarded at the end of the year) in June. Well that's because of another problem with the Ballon d'Or. Although it's branded as being the an award for the best player in a calendar year, it tends to be awarded to whichever player performed the best in the most recent season.
Anyway, with that in mind, I feel Cristiano Ronaldo should win the Ballon d'Or. Messi does have a great chance of wining it - at times he practically carried Barcelona and allowed them to keep the pressure on Real Madrid till the final day of the season. The main issue is that all he has to show for this is a Copa del Rey winners medal. Cristiano was the 'main man' in a team which succeeded, while Messi was the the most influential player in a team which failed. In terms of goals, assists and other statistics, the two are as always fairly even, so it would be unfair to judge one to be better than the other based on a few goals.
I'm aware of the fact I've said Cristiano Ronaldo should win the Ballon d'Or, but that is based on the fact that the Ballon d'Or is a popularity contest for attackers. If I were to honestly choose the player who I felt had been most influential to their team and who had achieved the most on an individual and club basis, I'd award the Ballon d'Or to Marcelo of Real Madrid. But he won't win it so my opinion doesn't matter anyway.
Tweet us @socabol on Twitter & let us know who you think will win the Ballon d'Or.