The Ballon d’Or returns this year after a year break, with Lionel Messi leading the way in the betting once again!
Each year, news magazine France Football present the Ballon d’Or to whoever is voted the best footballer in the world, by journalists and international managers and captains. It is regarded as the biggest personal accolade in football and causes lots of debate between fans and pundits.
Last year, due to the break-in football, there was no Ballon d’Or awarded. This was the first time in its 65 year existence that it hasn’t been given to a player. Many felt it should have been given to Lewandowski, who had a fantastic year and won the Champions League and was the Champions League top scorer.
Messi holds the record for the most Ballon d’Ors with six. He and Ronaldo challenged for it every year, with the Juventus forward winning five himself.
Ballon d’Or Odds (Paddy Power)
Lionel Messi (4/11)
The six-time winner wasn’t even one of the top five favourites a few months back but has now put himself right at the front. He won the last Ballon d’Or back in 2019 and another win this year would put him two ahead of his closest rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi won just one trophy with Barcelona this season, the Copa del Rey. He did finish top goalscorer in La Liga with 30 goals though, for the fifth consecutive season. However, it was how he did with Argentina that could win him this award. He finally won an international trophy with them winning the Copa America, whilst scoring four goals and getting five assists. An international trophy has always been the one that’s escaped him. He is the best player in the world and it’ll be hard to see anyone beat him to it now!
Robert Lewandowski (6/1)
As we previously said, many thought the Bayern striker would have won this award last year. They may still think the same once the voting comes around again this year. He is 32 years of age, but it isn’t slowing him down. He scored 48 goals in 40 games last season, showing age really is just a number.
Unfortunately, his side are out of the Champions League now. However, if he can continue his fantastic goalscoring form for the rest of the year, he will be in with a shout. His goalscoring form in the league and Europe is very good and if carried on, he can take Mbappe all the way.
Ngolo Kante (8/1)
This is one that would go down well with a lot of football fans around the world. Everyone likes Kante and it would be good to see someone win the award who doesn’t score 30+ a season but excels elsewhere on the pitch. Kante helped Chelsea win the Champions League this season and was back to his very best.
One thing that could go against Kante is the voting system. As it’s voted for by international managers and captains, there will be a lot of people who won’t have come up against Kante and so might not appreciate just how good he is. If France had gone all the way at the Euro’s he might have been right up there alongside Messi.
Kylian Mbappe (10/1)
It feels like it’s a matter of if, not when will Mbappe win the Ballon d’Or. He is emerging now as one of the best players in the world and has got off to a good start this year. Mbappe finished the season with 42 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.
He really announced himself as one of the best in the world when he scored a hat-trick at the Nou Camp against Barcelona in the Champions League. His side got to the semi-finals of the Champions League but he was injured and didn’t feature in either leg. However, France’s disappointing Euros along with PSG not winning Ligue 1 will likely go against him.
The Italian midfielder was nowhere near 10/1 at the start of the year but success in the Champions League and Euro 2020 has seen his price fall a lot! This reminds us of when Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or back in 2018 after getting to the final of the World Cup as well as winning the Champions League.
Jorginho has been crucial to the way both Italy and Chelsea wanted to play football and how they were successful. He is very good on the ball and keeps possession well. At 10/1 we think he has a better chance than some of the names above him and a lot of pundits have said they think he deserves it.
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