Ballon d’or 2018: Modric, Messi and the contenders
Who will win Ballon d’or 2018?
10 years, 2 names. The Ballon d’or has been a tale of two men- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the past decade with both taking home the award a whooping 5 times each. However, there is strong reason to believe that the Messi-Ronaldo era is over as the FIFA Best Player Award was given to Luka Modric some months ago.
The Croatian, along with the likes of Mohammed Salah and Kylian Mbappe provide strong competition to the duo of Messi and Ronaldo to take home the award later today.
Ballon d’or 2018: Where and when is the award taking place?
The Award Ceremony will take place by 6:45 pm GMT, at the French capital of Paris on December 3rd.
Who are the Favourites to win Ballon d’or 2018
The Croatian looks poised to take home the award after leading his side to the finals of the World Cup with performances that saw the diminutive Madrid-man win the Most Valuable Player Award at Russia.
Furthermore, being an integral part of the Real Madrid team that won the UEFA Champions League for the third consecutive time and winning the FIFA men’s player of the year makes him the clear favourite for the award
The Portuguese Superstar is not new to this business. It could easily be argued that the only thing that might prevent him from taking home this award for a record 6 times is Portugal’s failure to go past the Round of 16 in Russia.
Despite this, the former Real Madrid man racked up a whooping four goals in the same number of matches, hence judging him by his team’s performance is probably harsh.
After transferring to Juventus after the World Cup, he has become the first Juventus player to score 10 goals in his first Seria A season, after John Charles in 1957/1958 season.
With 45 goals in all competitions last season, Lionel Messi had another very impressive season. However, the fact that he was snubbed in the final three-man shortlist of the FIFA men’s best player award was shocking.
Even with this, Messi still remains one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’or and it is not difficult to see why.
His football has matured over the years, adding a new dimension to his game. Freekick, killer passes and so on are now refined assets in the arsenal of a player who many see as the greatest to have ever kicked the ball.
Salah is another name who is an outside favourite to win the award, though his chances could have been higher had he managed to win the Champions League with Liverpool. The 25-year-old broke several records in his debut season at Anfield and also outscored both Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez at Liverpool, scoring 32 goals.
After picking up an injury in the final match of the UEFA Champions League which Liverpool went on to lose, he had a pathetic World Cup campaign as Egypt failed to win a single match, though speculations remain that he played in the World Cup injured.
His 44 goals in all competitions and the many individual awards he racked up, coupled with the fact that he made the final three man shortlist for the FIFA Men’s Best Player and won the Puskas award are strong points backing him.
Ballon d’or 2018: Mbappe, Kane and the Outsiders
The boy wonder is something. At 19, he has it all – pace, balance, an eye for a goal. A future Ballon d’or winner in the eye of many, but is it too soon for him to win it?
The PSG star who wasn’t even alive when France lifted their first World Cup in 1998 won the Young Player Award in Russia after scoring four goals (including one in the final). His strike against Croatia made him just the second teenager in history to have scored in a World Cup final after Pele in 1958.
Other outsiders include Harry Kane who was top scorer in Russia with 6 goals as England attained a fourth place finish.
Antoinne Griezmann and Rafael Varane were also integral in France’s triumph in Russia with the latter being the only player to win both the Champions League and World Cup this season.
Belgium pair of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne also have an outside chance of winming the award
Who do you think deserves to win Ballon d’or 2018?
Drop your comments in the section below.