Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned with his fifth Ballon d'Or in Paris on Thursday, recognition for an extraordinary player. Ronaldo is an example to all athletes. He has been able to go much further than destiny had reserved: he possesses and infinity of resources and great technique, but he doesn't have the vision or the talent that many others are born with. In exchange, he's been able to compensate for his weakness by cultivating his physique and getting the maximum performances possible within his limits. And that's combined with a winning character and a spirit which never knows when its beaten, an important quality in sport.
With Cristiano, everything is hard work, sacrifice and awareness, despite the egoistic image he's cultivated for himself. Part of his success is that's he's been able to create the fiction that he's competing for the virtual trophy of best player on the planet with Lionel Messi. A fiction that has been accepted by some journalists and part of the media because these competitions fascinate and sell in equal measure. On Thursday, the fiction reached it's zenith when Ronaldo received his fifth Ballon d'Or, drawing level with Messi, as incredible as it seems.
The supposed equality between the two is an aberration in terms of football, a fabrication which has been created by some parts of the media. Ronaldo is a great player, but the worst favour you can do for him is to compare him to an extra-terrestrial that doesn't come from this world. That Ronaldo has as many Ballon d'Or awards as Messi will confuse many. José Echegaray and Gabriel García Márquez were two writers in the Spanish language, both awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, but history has left each one in their place. Ronaldo can win all the Ballon d'Ors he wants, but the glory will always be for Messi.