FM 2021 predicts next 10 Ballon d'Or winners - Kylian Mbappe dominates

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Just like everything else in 2020, the Ballon d'Or ceremony was thrown into disarray by the disruption to the football calendar. 

France Football took the decision to cancel the award, so fans were deprived of the intense annual debate which usually ends up escalating into a wider 'Messi v Ronaldo' spat. 

The duo are now 33 and 36 respectively, though, and while they continue to defy their ages, they are entering the twilight years of their careers. 

In their place, a new rivalry is already springing up between Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. 

Many see the PSG and Borussia Dortmund strikers as the heir to Messi and Ronaldo's shared throne and though nobody can expect them to match the two arguable GOATs, they are at least being tipped to clean up when it comes to Golden Balls. 

Now, ordinarily we would say it's impossible to predict how that battle is going to pan out. 

Mbappe has already been nominated for Ballon d'Or three times, finishing 7th, 4th and 6th. Haaland is younger, so he's yet to be nominated - though he'd surely have made the list in 2020 under normal circumstances. 

Fortunately, Football Manager has done us a service here and has simulated the next few Ballon d'Or winners. 

On YouTube, 'LS Plays FM' has actually delved right into the future - 500 years to be precise - but let's hold our horses and take a look at the next decade. 

As well as the eventual winner of Ballon d'Or, the top three who made the podium have been included. 

2021: Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Robert Lewandowski

2022: Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne

2023: Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Mo Salah

2024: Kylian Mbappe, Paulo Dybala, Ansu Fati

2025: Kai Havertz, Kylian Mbappe, Lautaro Martinez

2026: Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, Dejan Kulusevksi

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2027: Kylian Mbappe, Kaio Jorge, Troy Parrott

2028: Fabio Silva, Kaio Jorge, Troy Parrott

2029: Kylian Mbappe, Ansu Fati, Troy Parrott

2030: Fabio Silva, Brandon Miskelly, Ansu Fati

2031: Brandon Miskelly, Fabio Silva, Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe is set to win four in a row - starting with this year - before his dominance is eventually curtailed by none other than Kai Havertz. The German will need a remarkable turnaround following his poor start at Chelsea. 

The Frenchman soon gets back on top, though, and by the end of his career, he's won seven accolades - that means he'd surpass Messi, who currently holds a record six. 

Fabio Silva of Wolves gets involved in 2028, with regen player Brandon Miskelly shining for Chelsea and then winning the 2031 award. 

Let's take a closer look at the nominations. Lewandowski was incredibly unlucky not to be given the 2020 crown and looked to be a banker if it had gone ahead, so it's a good job he is on the 2021 podium. 

Two years down the line, Salah comes in third behind Mbappe and Haaland. The Egyptian will be 31 by then and it's hard to say whether he'd still be at Liverpool, given the present speculation. 

Republic of Ireland striker Troy Parrott, who's currently on loan from Tottenham at Ipswich, is clearly being dubbed as a future Harry Kane, finishing third in 2028, 2029, and 2030. 

Ansu Fati, meanwhile, never finishes higher than second, despite himself drawing a few flattering comparisons with Messi as a teenager. The same can be said of Haaland, in fact, even though according to Football Manager, he ends up moving to Liverpool. 

It's Mbappe who's set to hoover up the awards and judging by how he's started 2021, it's easy to see why. 

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