Lionel Messi is the hot favourite to claim his 7th Ballon d’Or – awarded by international football journalists to the player they deem to have performed the best on the international stage that year.
Other challengers include Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, N’Golo Kanté and Romelu Lukaku, as we noted in our Ballon D’Or predictions original article. What amazes us is how dominant Messi is in the odds and how much value that leaves on other players, including the likes of Ronaldo, Sterling, Erling Haaland and even French favourite Kylian Mbappé.
The Highest Individual Honour in a Team Sport
Being awarded the Ballon d’Or is arguably the most prestigious award a footballer can win, as we should be honest – the modern superstars of international football care more about personal glory than team success.The award is, of course, subjective but the winner is effectively crowned the best player in the world. which has a huge impact on transfer fees.
A shortlist drawn up by French hacks will be released in October with 30 top names, then the final decision rests with international journalists with one vote per country.
In recent years Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have tended to win the award, but this year the bookmakers seem to make Messi the overwhelming favourite at odds of 1.4.
The next fancied player is Lewandowski right back at 8. That seems a hell of a jump to us, albeit Messi now playing in France with Paris SG will endear him to the shortlisting judging panel.
Amazingly, Ronaldo is right back at 17 – this the player who was top scorer at the Euros and is scoring goals for fun since his return to Manchester United. Is Messi really so much more likely to win?
Who Won The Ballon D’Or 2020?
For understandable reasons the 2020 Ballon d’Or was not awarded but would have surely been to Lewandowski. Football is now back big time so there are no such concerns this time round. The problem now is arguably too many candidates.
Here we look at the latest updated odds for the winner of the Ballon D’Or 2021 with our tips and predictions on who to bet and our Ballon D’Or tip might not be among the obvious favourites.
So to be clear we are not saying that Messi should definitely not win the award, just that we don’t think the voting is anything like as clear cut as the bookies imagine. Of course Messi will be in contention for the Ballon d’Or, but we have yet to see him really impose himself for PSG.
Indeed, he was substituted in a recent match and his manager made it clear this was not due to an injury. Domestically, as a team packed with international superstars, PSG are expected to win Ligue 1 just as Bayern Munich are expected to win the Bundesliga, so it would be hard to attribute a PSG title win exclusively to Messi.
If PSG were to win the Champions League that would change the calculation dramatically. But the CL is wide open as we write.
2021 Copa America Winner
So if Messi were to win the Ballon D’Or it would likely be as much due to his performance at international level. Undoubtedly he was a key player leading Argentina to victory over deadly rivals Brazil in the 2021 Copa America Final, which was Argentina’s first top title since right back in 1993.
Messi was crowned Player of the Tournament and also, inevitably perhaps, won the Golden Boot.. If he were to win in December, this would be his seventh Ballon d’Or title. Not bad, we agree.
You cannot compile any international list of top players and leave out FC Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski as his scoring record is off the scale.
Bundesliga Best Scorer Of All Time
He would surely have won the last Ballon d’Or if it had been awarded last time. This can be put very simply: to score 41 goals in 29 games when day in day out you are playing in as competitive, tight a league as the Bundesliga is just incredible, powering your team to the Bundesliga title.
And while other superstars are losing a little of their lustre, he just seems to get better and better.
Plus there will surely be a bit of sentiment in Lewandowski’s favour: but for Covid he surely would have won it last time, so there is a sense that he is “owed” this award more than many-times winner Messi.
A player whose odds should be shortening to win the Ballon D’Or is Jorginho. He has just been crowned UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. Jorginho had great fun taunting Rio Ferdinand after he was presented with the award at Stamford Bridge.
The former England and Manchester United defender had remarked of Jorginho: “He gets no assists, he’s not a great defender, once a game gets like this against the big teams he gets overrun in midfield and he can’t run.” Ouch.
Champions League & Euro 2020 Winner
That assessment is now looking a bit silly and after Chelsea won the Champions League last season – anchored by Jorginho – and Chelsea are EagleBet’s prediction to win the Premier League. It is clear his manager regards him as his “main man”.
Remember he also won the Euro 2020 title with the Azzurri, so not a lot has gone wrong in his career this year.
The price varies on Jorginho from Ballon D’Or odds as low as 7 and as high as 11. Not the worst bet, though maybe not quite enough of a superstar to win the Ballon D’Or where celebrity status as well as footballing prowess is important to success?
Amazing that Jorginho is not the only Chelsea midfield player in the running to win the Ballon D’Or 2021 because we have to consider the claim of the brilliant N’Golo Kanté. He also happens to be French, which is not irrelevant when calculating the odds.
He basically destroyed Spurs when he came off the bench for Chelsea, prompting his manager to purr that he gives you “everything” you want in a midfielder.
You can Kanté him at odds as high as 11.
OK, we promise this will be the last Chelsea player we mention. Technically, the award would in significant part be for his work in Italy, that is 22 goals scored and firing Inter Milan to the Serie A title but that is a relatively modest total when compared to Lewandowski.
Romelu would need to score an absolute load of goals for Chelsea in the next couple of months to be a serious contender in our view as, by his incredible standards, he was not quite the star man at the Euros that many expected him to be, although he was certainly very decent.
Cristiano Ronaldo And Haaland
Surely these two must be better value than Messi?
Ronaldo is on fire in front of goal, although Messi’s assists count in favour of the Argentinian. Nevertheless when Messi was playing in La Liga and Ronaldo was in Serie A, some made the case that Messi was playing in a harder league. With Ronaldo now in England and Messi in France, the reverse is true.
But if Messi is 1.4, can Ronaldo really be 17, when there is all the romance of Ronaldo’s return “home” to Manchester United?
Another player to consider is Haaland. He has already scored five in five this season for Borussia Dortmund, looked his fantastic self for his country and last season was averaging a goal a game. He is a machine. And you can bet on Haaland to win the Ballon D’Or at 50.
Ballon d’Or 2021 Winner Predictions
Lionel Messi is the overwhelming favourite to win the Golden Ball award for the 2021 season if you believe the bookies.
However, we think there are several other contenders, including Ronaldo and Haaland to win the Ballon D’Or.
Lewandowski Is Our Favourite In The Ballon D’Or 2021
For us it needs to be the Bayern Munich hitman. He has scored once every 109 minutes over a decade in the Bundesliga, one of the world’s very toughest leagues.
EagleBet Ballon D’Or 2021 Winner Prediction
Our Ballon d’Or 2021 winner prediction, then, is that Lionel Messi is still probably the single most likely winner, but at these odds we would bet on Lewandowski all day long as he has to be worth a bet – but be quick because his odds are shortening.
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