Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe: The 2021 Ballon d'Or favourites include Man Utd and Chelsea stars

  • Kobe Tong
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The 2021 Ballon d’Or landscape is gradually becoming clearer.

We’re approaching two years since France Football last handed out their prestigious award with the global situation meaning that Robert Lewandowski missed out on an almost-certain victory in 2020.

And now that the biggest leagues in Europe have drawn their curtains for a few months, the evidence for 2021 contenders is starting to pile up.

2021 Ballon d’Or

Pretend as we might that the Ballon d’Or rewards players for their performances across the entire year, there’s no denying that they hone in on the season that concluded within that 12 months.

Besides, give or take victories such as Lionel Messi‘s in 2019, there is plenty of evidence that the voters tend to prefer players who have hoovered up trophies within the confines of that year.

As a result, there is an additional interest in potential Ballon d’Or winners that have already decked their trophy cabinets with a few extra winners’ medal in 2021.

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The leading contenders

And while we still have the Champions League final, Euro 2020 and the Copa America to come, it’s starting to become very clear which players are leading the race for the prestigious plaque.

As such, we’ve turned to the bookmakers to see how the potential 2021 contenders are stacking up and Betfair are keeping fans abreast by running the upcoming Ballon d’Or as one of their specials.

Intriguing, right? Well, you can check out who they consider to be the likeliest winners when the awards ceremony rolls around by checking out the 18 frontrunners and how they stack up below:

=15. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) – 40/1

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=15. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – 40/1

=15. Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich) – 40/1

=15. Mason Mount (Chelsea) – 40/1

=12. Ruben Dias (Manchester City) – 33/1

=12. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – 33/1

=12. Phil Foden (Manchester City) – 33/1

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=8. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – 25/1

=8. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) – 25/1

=8. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – 25/1

=8. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) – 25/1

7. Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) – 20/1

6. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) – 14/1

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5. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – 10/1

4. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 13/2

3. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 6/1

2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 9/2

1. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – 9/4

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Mbappe leading the pack

So, there you have it, Mbappe is leading the way to win the Ballon d’Or that he’s long been tipped to win, but doing so at 22 years old would be even faster than expected.

The French phenomena boasts a stunning record of 28 goals and four assists over the course of the calendar year as well as winners’ medals in the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions.  

However, what makes Mbappe such a frontrunner for the Ballon d’Or is the likelihood that France could follow up their 2018 FIFA World Cup success with glory at Euro 2020.

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And if Mbappe helps himself to either the Golden Boot or Best Player award alongside conquering Europe, then there would surely be no debating who will be taking home the 2021 Ballon d’Or.

Otherwise, you can bet that Lewandowski and De Bruyne will be snapping at his heels, while Messi or Ronaldo could upset the applecart if they win the Copa America or Euro 2020 respectively.

In other words, start rubbing your hands together because we’ve got ourselves a fascinating scramble for the Ballon d’Or and there are plenty of world-class stars who can make it theirs.

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