The shortlist for the Ballon d’Or has been announced and the debate begins over which of world football’s biggest stars will lift the trophy at the beginning of next year.
There are representatives from some of the most successful teams in Europe on the list, but only a small handful are expected to have any real chance of being voted as the world’s best player by the coaches and captains of National teams, as well as some journalists.
So who do the bookies think will take the prize? GMF compiled a gallery of the five favourites according to the betting market and here they are:
The Brazilian has been doing amazing things with the ball this year and comes in joint fourth, but his price of 33-1 suggests he isn’t quite ready yet.
Andrea Pirlo, Juventus
It has been a great year for the Serie A veteran and he will get a few votes purely for showing such great form in his advanced years. However, a price of 33-1 means he isn’t likely to get enough.
Andres Iniesta, Barcelona
Possibly a dark horse having beaten off the inevitable golden two in the race for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and a price of around 6-1 could be worth a punt, but don’t hold your breath.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Miles too long at 3-1 in places, the Portugal captain could make someone a lot of money, as a title-winning year in La Liga – toppling Real’s great rivals in the process – will hold a lot of weight with many.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona
The little magician can be backed from 1-2 to 8-11 and is the heavy favourite to take the title for a fourth year in a row. How can you argue with 73 goals in a season?
Those are the bookies choices, but who do you think should lift the trophy in January 2013? Leave a comment below to let us know...