Ballon d’Or

Who deserves the award? World football has reached its business end with the respective international competitions announcing its winners the past weekend. Italy and Argentina have been declared official champions of their respective international tournaments i.e EURO 2020 and COPA America. The AFCON, which is Africa’s most prestigious national tournament has been halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the once biennial tournament will resume in the year 2022 in the first quarter. Focusing on the individual award, the time has arrived at the debate and decide who should be the recipient of the much-coveted Ballon D’Or. What is the Ballon D’Or? The Ballon D’Or is an individual football award presented by French News Magazine, France Football that is one of the oldest and generally regarded as the most prestigious individual award for Football players. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been at the forefront of this award for a decade and a half, with 11 Ballon D’Or trophies apiece. Watch the space as the controversy looms large on who should receive this year’s prize. International media sources have already emptied outright favorites with the bookmakers to win the Ballon D’Or are (Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandoski, Jorginho, Harry Kane, and Giorgio Chiellini). Does that suffice? Is it fair? What do you think? A question that always lingers on football fans is what qualifies an athlete for this award. Well according to Football Conversations’ Bandile Roro, the key performance indicators should stem from the following.  International competition stats and accomplishments Club performances stats and accomplishments Number of matches  Number of MOTM Number of goals scored as well as Assists Number of interceptions and distance covered A 30-man shortlist will be drawn up in October which will be reduced to a final three-man shortlist closer to the event. Bandile Roro’ Top 10 Ballon D’Or Candidates.

1. Lionel Messi. (Barcelona & Argentina)There’s no doubt that the 6 time Ballon D’Or winner won’t cut this season’s candidacy as the Argentine guided his country to their first silverware since 1993. Statistics:  Winner of the Copa America, player of the tournament, top goal scorer  Winner Of Copa Del’rey 15 MOTM in La Liga 30 Goals in La Liga, 4 Goals in COPA, and 16 Assists Overall.

2. Kevin De Bruyne. (Manchester City & Belgium)For the past seasons, Kevin De Bruyne has proved beyond reasonable doubts that his currently the World’s best creative midfielder in Europe’s Top 5 leagues. The Belgian star has guided his team to the premier league title, 1 domestic cup as well as reaching the quarterfinals of the EURO 2020

Statistics: Quarterfinalist With Belgium in the EURO’s Winner of the Premier League, Carabao Cup PFA Player of the year 9 MOTM in Premier League 10 Goals and 10 Assists

3. Jorginho. (Chelsea & Italy)Jorgino has been the most decorated player this season for both club and country. But the question is was he the best player in Chelsea’s run to clinch the Champions League? No…Was he the best player In Italy’s run to win the EURO 2020? No… BUT, a big BUT…Even though he wasn’t the best player but Jorginho played a key role in both triumphs for club and country. Statistics:  Won EURO 2020. Won UEFA Champions League 5 goals and 2 assists 98.87 km Distance covered & 81 Passing Accuracy

4.Robert Lewandoski. (Bayern Munich & Poland)

Robert Lewandoski has been undoubtedly the World’s best no. 9 for quite some time. The Polish striker has enjoyed the best individual season in Europe’s top 5 leagues. Lets us not forget, if it wasn’t for the covid-19 outbreak, Lewandoski was an uncontested recipient for the award in the previous season. However, that didn’t stop him as he continues to make headlines this season as he won the Golden Shoe award this particular season.

Statistics:

  • Won the Bundesliga 
  • Won the Club World Cup
  • Won Europe’ Golden shoe
  • Top Scorer in Bundesliga
  • 34 Goals

5.Cristiano Ronaldo. (Juventus & Portugal)

The 5 time Ballon D’Or winner makes the podium of the candidate as he continues to break records – even on the tail of his football career. 

Statistics:

  • Won Coppa Italia & Supercoppa Italiana
  • Serie A Top Goal Scorer
  • EURO 2020 Top Goal scorer 
  • 27 goals and 4 assists

6.Raheem Sterling. (Manchester City & England)

The speedy winger had a great season for both club and country. He was a key figure in all competitions this season. Had his team and country won the finals, Sterling’s name would top the list of this season Ballon D’Or candidacy. 

Statistics:

  • Won the Premier League & Carabao Cup
  • Runner Up in EURO 2020
  • Runner Up in UEFA Champions League
  • 11 goals and 7 Assists 

7.N’Golo Kante. (Chelsea & France)

Ngolo Kante is currently the world’s best DM, not only that, his versatility has proven deeper than a traditional no.6 as he adapts very well to the no.8 position. The Frenchman has been a force in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League triumph. With a disappointing exit to this year’ EURO’, the ever-running Kante remains on the outside looking of this year Ballon D’Or top 3 candidates.

Statistics:

  • Won UEFA Champions League
  • 176.73km Distance covered & 91 Passing Accuracy

8.Kyllian Mbappe. (PSG & France)

Mbappe may not win this year’s prize, but definitely, his name remains in the bracket for the future. Mbappe had a great run this season until his shocking exit with the French National team after they were tipped as favorites to lift the cup. Had he won the Champions league or EURO 2020, the script could be written differently.

Statistics:

  • Won Coupe de France & Trophee des Champions
  • Ligue 1 Top Scorer
  • UEFA Champions League 2nd Top Scorer
  • 29 Goals & 7 assists

9.Erling Haaland. (Borussia Dortmund & Norway)

If there was a name that would overtake Robert Lewandoski striking prowess, it will definitely be the young Erling Haaland. The 20-year-old has shaken the football world with headlines for the past 2 seasons in the scene. We will yet to find out which team he will play for next season, as his name has been a subject of interest in the transfer market. The lanky forward had a great individual season with his club, Dortmund, scoring 29 goals in all competitions and leading the Top UEFA scorer’ charts.

               Statistics:

  • Won DFB-Pokal
  • Top scorer in UEFA Champions League
  • 2nd Bundesliga Scorer
  • 25 goals and 9 assists

10. Federico Chiesa (Juventus & Italy)

A surprise inclusion to the scene, if there could be anyone you could think of in EURO’ champions – it’s Federico Chiesa. The 23-year-old youngster has been instrumental for both club and country this season. The definition of a BMT player, his age, and lack of experience doesn’t necessarily equate to his explosive qualities. He will cut the 30-man shortlist come October. 

Statistics: 

  • Won EURO 2020
  • Won Copa Italia &Supercoppa Italiana
  • Juve Young Player Of The Season
  • 14 Goals & 5 Assists 

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