The Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev did not disappoint.
We saw the sublime (Gareth Bale) and the ridiculous (Loris Karius) but the biggest surprise of all was that Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t score.
It has become customary for the Real Madrid forward to underwhelm in a major European final before adding to his considerable tally late on.
With thirty seconds left on the clock, it looked as if he would make it 4-1 to Real and get his name on the scoresheet once again.
However, as he bore down on goal, a pitch invader distracted him and brought the game to a halt.
The question is, will this moment of stupidity from an unknown fan impact Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or hopes?
A fourth goal would have been merely a cherry on top of the cake in the context of the game.
But Ronaldo bagging in the final would have significantly increased his perceived contribution to the overall campaign.
The five-time Champions League winner finished as the competition’s top scorer but the final in Kiev will forever belong to Bale (and Karius).
Narrative counts for a lot when it comes to the Ballon d’Or, we’ve seen evidence of that in recent years.
Champions League final goals have extra gravity to them, they’re memorable and it’s easier for people to see them as an indicator of wider success.
The award is supposed to be given to the best individual based on their performances over the course of a year, but team achievements have long been taken into consideration.
Heading into the World Cup, Ronaldo has the Champions League in his locker while Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a domestic double.
Liverpool’s defeat in the final reduces Mohamed Salah’s chances of breaking the La Liga pair’s duopoly over the award.
Perhaps the long-time rivals’ latest duel for the game’s top individual prize will come down to Portugal vs Argentina in Russia?
If there’s not much between the two sides come the end of the tournament, it’s not inconceivable that Messi will get the nod.
And if so, who knows how much the Kiev pitch invader’s antics will have impacted the result?
Imagine if the bloke turned out to be an over exuberant Real Madrid fan…
Dream Team World Cup has landed!
The greatest show on Earth just got that bit more exciting.
That’s because the Dream Team World Cup game is coming ahead of this summer’s tournament.
Dream Team World Cup
- Completely free to enter
- £50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournament
- £175k total prizepot (for UK players only)
- PRE-REGISTER FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOW
The game officially launches on June 1 – but you can pre-register for the game now.
If you’re an existing Dream Team customer the World Cup game now appears in the app or you can enter here, but if you’re not follow these simple steps:
- Download the Dream Team app
- Create an account
- Click on the World Cup banner below in the app and follow the pre-registration instructions
From Russia with a whole lot of love.