The FIFA ballon d’or over the years has been used to adjudge the best player for a particular calendar year. It is the holy grail of individual accolades as far as football is concerned with many world class footballers of the past winning it on countless occasions. Here we take a look at the three contenders for the crown and their chances of winning it.
The last Brazilian to win the prestigious award was Kaka and for the first time since then another is on the brink of repeating such a feat. The Brazilian star was part of a quintuple winning side last season scoring 10 goals in the champions league. He was joint top scorer alongside Ronaldo and Messi. However it seems unlikely Neymar will win it this year. Neymar has matured since his Santos days and looks set to reach the potential many have known him to be capable of. 2015 was a great year for him but there were also the lows of the Copa America where he was sent of in the game against Colombia after being roughed up by them. That lead to a 4 game ban for the Brazilian after several failed appeals. The international form was not fantastic but he made up for it on the club front with stellar performances alongside strike partners Messi and Suarez especially following the former’s injury late last year. Neymar’s time will surely come but for now he has to be patient.
Winner of the last two ballon dors, it’s interesting what can happen in the space of 12 months. After a four year barren spell Ronaldo won the award twice on the trot.
The Real Madrid star has broken so many records in the league this season in terms of goals, surpassing Madrid legend Raul and going third in all time la liga goal scorers chart. That should be enough for him to retain his title right? Wrong. Much of the criticism of Ronaldo has been his pursuit of individual honours as opposed to team honours. He has broken more records personally than winning club trophies in his time at Madrid. His failures in the big games are also well documented. Most notably in the 4-0 drubbing by city rivals Atletico. The el classico was also another example. This year however many felt he was in the shortlist due to reputation not merit. Whatever you may think he’s there and winning it for the 3rd time in a row seems highly unlikely
The overall favourite to win it this year. The Argentine has had a wonderful year with Barcelona winning all the competitions they were involved in last term. He put in virtuoso performances especially in the semi-finals against Bayern where he embarrassed Jerome Boateng. The only blip was his inability to secure the Copa America trophy for his country, losing to Chile on penalties. He just can’t seem to get it right with the national team. Messi was sidelined for two months at the beginning of the season but made a comeback in the Clasico clash where they humiliated bitter rivals Madrid.
Messi and Ronaldo look to continue their domination of this prestigious trophy and now it’s the turn of the Argentine to have it after a 2 year hiatus. Will this domination ever end? Well for now , no one knows. Let’s enjoy it though because we are witnessing something really special from these two.
The Ballon D’or ceremony will be held in Zurich and starts at 17.30GMT don’t miss it.