For eight years Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been the best players in football, or so the recipient of the Ballon d’Or would suggest.
The pair have shared the award for every year since 2008. It’s likely that the pair’s streak will stretch to nine years at next year’s ceremony in recognition of Ronaldo’s spectacular year.
There will come a time, though, when Messi and Ronaldo’s powers wane. Yes, we know it’s hard to imagine but father time remains undefeated, and it’ll soon catch up to the pair.
Messi is 29, Ronaldo is two years older. Eventually they will be overtaken at the top.
Brazil legend Ronaldinho thinks it will be Neymar who takes the crown, while others will point to Antoine Griezmann. Harry Redknapp, however, reckons it’ll be another La Liga star who will soon become football’s top player.
The former Tottenham manager coached Gareth Bale at White Hart Lane. He’s since watched the Welshman become the world’s most expensive player (a record that now belongs to Paul Pogba), score in a Champions League final and lead Wales to the semi-final of a European Championship.
Bale has built a fine resume at the Bernabeu and Redknapp thinks he can win the Ballon d’Or.
“I think he could do it this year,” Redknapp said, per the Daily Mail. “If he has a great Champions League, it's possible, if he can have a great run of games in it.”
Bale turned 27 in July. Though Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo have had some of their best seasons in their 30s, it’s around Bale’s age that players are said to be in their peak.
If he can stay healthy for an entire season then the Welshman has every chance of becoming the first player since Kaka to win football’s coveted individual accolade.