German legend Lothar Matthaus has expressed his faith in five-time Ballon d’Or winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, stating that the duo are definitely not finished with their dominance in the game.
In case you didn’t know…
The year 2018 has emerged as the one where neither Ronaldo nor Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the first time in a decade.
Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric took home the coveted prize in recognition for his contribution in the Los Blancos side’s UEFA Champions League win in May as well as his role in his home country’s journey to their first ever FIFA World Cup final.
While Ronaldo finished in second place, Messi finished outside the top three for the first time since 2006, taking the fifth spot on the list.
The heart of the matter
While Modric’s win has been deemed ‘the end of an era’, Matthaus does not believe so, maintaining that Messi and Ronaldo will undoubtedly still be at the top of their game.
The former Ballon d’Or winner, however, acknowledged the presence of a host of great players who are lining up for the football throne.
Speaking to Goal, the German said, “Life changes, sure Ronaldo and Messi are very important for international football but a younger generation is coming.”
“Modric was not somebody from a younger generation, but he had a perfect team around him and for this, like Ronaldo and Messi, Modric profited from his team, from the quality of other players.”
“Because only with a team can you make results. When you have results, you can make a difference and when you make a difference, you can win the Ballon d’Or. Messi played with Barcelona, Ronaldo and Modric for Real Madrid, this helped them a lot to enjoy this personal result. In the future, maybe it will be Mbappe, he is a very good player.”
“Shining from Ronaldo and Messi is not over, but there is now Mbappe, Griezman, maybe Hazard from Chelsea. A lot of players make something special.”
Following the award season, players and fans shift their focus to upcoming games with Juventus facing Inter Milan tomorrow and Barcelona going head-to-head with Espanyol on Sunday.