The “Ballon d’Or” or golden ball is the most prestigious annual football award that is presented by France Football Magazine to the best football player in the world. It has been awarded since 1956. Stanley Mattews of Blackpool was the inaugural winner of the Ballon d’Or. There is also a women’s Ballon d’Or, that honours the best female football player. It was first awarded in 2018 to Ada Hegerberg of Norway’s women’s national football team .
After being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, The Ballon d’Or is back and a short list has been announced on Friday (8th October) by France football.
The football sphere has been buzzing with ardent debates over who holds most power in this year’s race!
The list consists of 30 players, joining 2019 winner Lionel Messi, as contenders to bag the prize. It includes names like Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jorginho, Riyad Mahrez, Neymar jr, Mohammed Salah and so on.
Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are considered the front runners to win the prestigious award. Lionel Messi with has won the most Ballon d’Or in history (6) and if he does the same this year too, then it will be his seventh which only furthers his record.
Messi has startled the football world this year, scoring 30 goals in La Liga and a further 6 in the Champions League. Moreover, he successfully led Argentina to win the title in Copa America.
Had the award been presented in 2020, Robert Lewandowski surely would have won, scooping up the treble with Bayern and scoring an astonishing 54 goals in 48 games.
Jorginho is the only midfielder up for the award. After winning the champions with Chelsea, Jorginho also won Euro 2020 with Italy. He had also grabbed the attention of football fans worldwide by winning the UEFA men’s player of the year award.
Cristiano Ronaldo keeps impressing at the age of 36 too. He recently moved to Manchester united, where he has already scored 5 goals in 6 games. He already has five Ballon d’Ors under his belt.
There are some valuable players who have been missed in the Ballon d’Or shortlist. Marcus Rashford, Gabriel Jesus and Marquinhos are some among them them.
However, a selection of international journalists, national team coaches and captains will be polled to determine the Ballon d’Or winner with each voter being asked to pick out their top five and this decides who will walk away with the Laurel on November 29 in Paris.
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