cristiano-ronaldo-has-finished-in-20th-place-in-the-2022-ballon-d’or-race

For the first time since 2006, five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo has finished outside of the top 10 in the Ballon d’Or rankings.

The 37-year-old forward, who scored 31 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions last season, finished ahead of Harry Kane, Bernardo Silva and Darwin Nunez in this year’s awards.

He also pipped Phil Foden, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joshua Kimmich in the standings, but Portugal’s all-time top goalscorer will be far from satisfied with 20th place after a respectable campaign for Manchester United.

After re-signing for United in August last year, Ronaldo went on to score 18 goals in 30 Premier League games last season.

He also netted six goals in seven Champions League appearances for the Reds but clearly, his output wasn’t good enough to clinch a top 10 finish in this year’s Ballon d’Or stakes.

Manchester United teammate Casemiro finished in 17th place alongside Liverpool forward Luis Diaz and Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, while Virgil van Dijk came in 16th.

Here’s how social media reacted to Ronaldo’s inclusion at 20th.

One fan wrote: “Top 20 on the Ballon D’or list at 37, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Greatest there is. The Greatest there was. The Greatest there ever will be.”

Another said: “For the first time in 16 years neither Ronaldo or Messi make the Ballon d’Or top three. The end of an era,” while a third commented: “The Messi x Ronaldo era has fully ended now.”

Image credit: France FootballL’Equipe journalist Bertrand Latour said he was concerned for Cristiano Ronaldo after the result was confirmed.

“I am worried about him in terms of his psychological problems,” he said via Get French Football News. “He is going through a very tough time with his club. Being dropped by Manchester United. And difficult things in life.”

Despite his recent positioning, Ronaldo is still the player with the most points in Ballon d’Or history.

He has won the Ballon d’Or five times during his glittering career, claiming 3,781 points from nominations of the award, as opposed to 3,574 for great rival Lionel Messi.

The duo’s domination of the award since 2008 leaves them well clear of the rest.