The Ballon d’Or returns this year after a year break, with Lionel Messi not one of the favourites for this first time in years!
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. This year though, it looks like it won’t be going to either of them with some new names in football taking all the headlines.
Ballon d’Or Odds (Paddy Power)
Kylian Mbappe (5/2)
It feels like its 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 has 21 goals and nine assists so far in 30 games this season. If he can carry on this form for the year he will be posting some impressive numbers when the Ballon d’Or comes around.
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. On top of this, France are one of the favourites for the Euro’s and if he can help his side to go all the way in that competition, he will take some beating!
Robert Lewandowski (11/2)
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 has 26 goals in the Bundesliga in just 21 games.
Bayern are one of the favourites for the Champions League and this can help players cause when winning the Ballon d’Or. His goalscoring form in the league and Europe is very good and if carried on, he can take Mbappe all the way.
Cristiano Ronaldo (6/1)
The five-time winner is still having a very good year at the age of 36. He has scored 25 goals in 28 games so far this season. His side though are struggling in the Champions Leauge. However, Portugal are one of the dark horses for this summers Euros. If Ronaldo was to play a big part and took them far into the competition, that couldn’t be ignored especially with his age.
Bruno Fernandes (10/1)
Many are waiting for this mans incredible form to stop. In this season he has 35 goals and assists in 36 games. He can’t stop scoring for Man United and is impressing everyone each game he plays. One thing that could go against him is the number of penalties he scores. This isn’t looked upon as favourably as any other type of goal.
That being said, if Bruno can keep going at the incredible rate he is, he has to be in the conversation to win the Ballon d’Or.