Ahead of next month’s announcement, the five main contenders for football’s biggest individual prize have been named.
Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, and Karim Benzema are the three main contenders for the Ballon d’Or, according to L’Equipe.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Jorginho, and N’Golo Kante all have an outside chance of beating the odds stacked against them.
France Football announced the 30-man shortlist for the 2021 Ballon d’Or last week. The usual suspects are on it, such as Ronaldo and Messi, as well as rising stars like Phil Foden and Pedri.
The winner will be announced at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on November 29.
On the front cover of its Tuesday morning edition, L’Equipe unveiled its top Ballon d’Or contenders. The French outlet made credible cases for each star’s prospects using the following arguments:
- Lionel Messi (PSG / Argentina): Copa America winner.
- Jorginho (Chelsea / Italy): Champions League and Euro 2020 winner.
- Cristiano Ronaldo: Serie A Golden Boot winner.
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid / France) and Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich / Poland): Best No.9.
L’Equipe based its criteria to assess a player’s potential for the Ballon d’Or on:
- Individual performance and team trophies in 2021.
- Class of the player (talent & fair play).
- Overall career of the player.
So in the end, L’Equipe narrowed down the most likely Ballon d’Or winners down to three players in Messi, Benzema, and Lewandowski.
Ballon d’Or shortlist
Premier League: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin de Bruyne, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Dias, Bruno Fernandes, Phil Foden, Jorginho, Harry Kane, N’Golo Kanté, Romelu Lukaku, Riyad Mahrez, Mason Mount, Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling
Serie A: Leonardo Bonucci, Nicolo Barella, Giorgio Chiellini, Simon Kjaer, Lautaro Martinez
LaLiga: Karim Benzema, Luis Suarez, Luka Modric, Gerard Moreno, Pedri.
Ligue 1: Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Bundesliga:Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland.