It is that time of the year when members of the football fraternity begin focusing on the Ballon d’Or. While people might claim that football is a team effort, the Ballon d’Or gets so much hype that it almost feels as valuable as a team trophy.
For the last 10 years, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have stamped their authority and have shared the prize five times each. This year, however, there is a good chance that someone other than the duo could win it – and here are 5 possible candidates…
#5 Mo Salah – Liverpool / Egypt
Good luck today boys 🇪🇬💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/ahLCKUUsyu
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) October 16, 2018
The Egyptian has an outside chance of winning the prestigious honor. After finishing the 2017-18 season with 44 goals in all competitions – only Messi scored more – Salah finds himself at the pinnacle of his career thus far.
He also helped Liverpool to the final of the Champions League after over a decade and it was his goal in the qualifiers that allowed Egypt to participate in the FIFA World Cup 2018.
#4 Raphael Varane – Real Madrid / France
— Raphaël Varane (@raphaelvarane) October 18, 2018
It is about time that a defender is bestowed with this honour and the only one with viable credentials for it, at the moment, is Raphael Varane. A bit of a spoiler alert: he is the only player on this list that won the fabulous double of the Champions League and the World Cup this year.
What makes this achievement more special is the fact that he was an indispensable member for his team in those triumphs.
#3 Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid / France
Le plus important dans un but c’est sa célébration 💁🏻♂😂 pic.twitter.com/bfpRjHmNU9
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) October 17, 2018
While his maverick antics sometimes make him a subject of controversy, Antoine Griezmann is one of the best forwards in the game right now. He won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid and scored 29 goals in all competition last season.
After that, he won the World Cup with France. So far in 2018, he has scored 7 goals for his country and has four goals from his first 11 games this season.
#2 Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain / France
9/9 Record battu ✅
Magnifique performance de l’ensemble de la famille PSG 🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/LMwCHno42l
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) October 7, 2018
Both Mbappe and Griezmann have almost the same credentials but what makes the teenager so special is his ability to turn the game in his team’s favour with the sheer force of his explosiveness – like the world witnessed against Argentina.
He finished the FIFA World Cup as its best young player, which came after a successful domestic season with PSG. He scored 21 goals in all competitions for PSG last season and also has 8 goals for France in 2018.
#1 Luka Modric – Real Madrid / Croatia
— Luka Modrić (@lukamodric10) September 24, 2018
Who else but Luka Modric? The Croatian was awarded the accolade of the best player in the World Cup as well as FIFA’s Best Player in men’s football. He was not only the pivotal cog in Madrid’s unprecedented Champions League-winning campaign but was also Croatia’s heartbeat at the World Cup.
His ability to dictate the tempo in the middle while also working tenaciously for his team’s benefit has won him a lot of plaudits, which is why he is a favourite to win the prestigious trophy awarded by France Football.