Will the first come for Benzema? Or Messi’s seventh … We review the merits of each of the favorites to win it
France Football announced the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or 2021 and although it is an award that recognizes individual performances and achievements, collective titles are very important in determining the winner.
Facing the Golden Ball to be delivered on November 29 in Paris, ESPN Digital presents the arguments of the main favorites to win the distinguished award.
La ‘Pulga’ finished as LaLiga’s top scorer last season with 30 touchdowns and second top assist with 11 passes to goal. On a collective level, Messi won the Copa del Rey but Barcelona disappointed in the Spanish Championship and Champions. On the other hand, Messi won his first title with the Argentine National Team by winning the Copa América.
After his good performance in the UEFA Nations League, El ‘Gato’ went viral on social networks due to users who have opined that the French should win the Golden Ball. The previous campaign, Benzema scored a total of 30 goals with the Real Madrid shirt and distributed nine assists, however, at the title level, the Frenchman did not win a single trophy with the Merengues and was part of the France that did not surrender to the maximum in the Eurocup.
On an individual level, the Italian midfielder did not have such outstanding numbers with Chelsea, recording eight goals and two assists last season, but he was awarded UEFA’s player of the year after he played an important role for the Blues. they won the Champions League and signed good performances with the ‘Azurra’ who won the Eurocup.
At 36 years old, El ‘Bicho’ continues to perform in an extraordinary way and proof of his level are the 29 goals he scored in Serie A in the 2020-21 campaign. However, in the collective aspect, the Portuguese failed in the most important competitions with Juventus and in the Euro Cup he fell with Portugal in the Round of 16.
The Polish striker was the favorite to win the Golden Ball in 2020 for their impressive individual numbers in Bayern Munich’s successful campaign but France Football decided to cancel the contest due to COVID-19. In the 2020-21 season, Lewandowski scored 41 goals in the Bundesliga, a competition he won as well as the Club World Cup. One point against Robert is that together with Poland he signed a disappointing performance at the European Championship.
Before the Euro, Kanté was the favorite of many fans to win the Golden Ball for his role in the Chelsea midfield that the ‘Orejona’ won. However, N’Golo did not manage to guide France to win the European Championship, so a sector of supporters consider that the midfielder no longer has as many chances to win the prestigious award.
The French star once again signed extraordinary numbers with PSG in Ligue 1 and the Champions League with 27 goals and eight goals, respectively, last season. Unfortunately for Mbappé, the Frenchman failed to win the French Championship and was responsible for missing the decisive penalty in the Round of 16 against Switzerland at the Eurocup that led to the elimination of ‘Les Bleus’.
In 28 games in the 2020-21 Bundesliga season, Haaland scored 27 goals and was the leading scorer in the Champions League with 10 goals in eight games played. Despite their extraordinary numbers in major competitions, Dortmund only won the German Cup.
With 9 goals in Ligue 1 and 6 goals in the Champions League last season, the talented Brazilian footballer did not sign any outstanding numbers with PSG but remains a key player in the Parisian team. With the Brazilian National Team, Neymar, was close to winning the Copa América but lost the Final against Argentina of his friend Lionel Messi.
De Bruyne is Manchester City’s ‘brain’ and his role in the previous season was instrumental in helping City win the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League Final. With the Belgian National Team, Kevin had good performances in the Eurocup although it was not enough when he was eliminated in the Quarterfinals.