Deck the halls with bows of holly, folks, it’s Ballon d’Or season.
Yes, it’s that joyful time of year when football fans the world over gleefully come together to berate, criticise, and ridicule their fellow fans’ pick for the best player on the planet.
This year, however, might see a sharp rise in the number of disagreements with a glut of worthy candidates emerging in the race to be named the best in the world.
The current frontrunners for the Ballon d’Or
Robert Lewandowski would’ve absolutely walked to the title had it been awarded last year but his performances since have certainly done more than enough to justify his claim.
Then there is, of course, Mr Ballon d’Or himself, Lionel Messi, who held a crumbling Barcelona side together throughout the year before being forced to abandon the sinking ship in the summer.
There are others; Chelsea’s Jorginho for one, who might feel they have done enough to throw a cat among the pigeons but, if rumours online are to be believed, there is only one man destined for glory.
‘Leaked’ list emerges on Twitter
Now it is worth noting that these rumours have emerged on Twitter which, at the best of times, is not exactly the bastion of truth and reliability.
However, that hasn’t stopped users from circulating what appears to be a photo claiming to show the final standings in the vote for this year’s prize, with Robert Lewandowski out in front.
While we have no way of confirming whether the apparent leak is authentic or not, it does make for very interesting reading.
Messi slides into second place with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema claiming the last spot on the podium.
Salah meanwhile, can only manage a fourth place finish while Jorginho who, for many was a dark horse in the race, would have to settle for fifth.
Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo has seen his station lessened significantly as he just scrapes into the top 10 below the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
If, and that is a loaded if, these standings do ring true in the end, then it would be hard to argue.
Lewandowski has been redefining what it means to be a prolific goalscorer over the last two years and would be more than deserving of the title of best in the world.
However, with the ceremony still weeks away, we would advise against making any absolute decisions based off of this ‘leak’.