Since 1956, France Football magazine has given the Ballon d'Or to the best player of the year. Usually, the top players from the World Cup, continental football tournaments, and European club football championships fight for the prestigious award. During the selection process of the best footballer of the year, the finest individual performances in the Euro 2020 and Copa America 2021 competitions will be given more priority. Therefore, all eyes are stuck on the best performers in major events. Let’s see who are the top five potential candidates for the Ballon d'Or 2021 award.
Top Five Contenders for the Ballon d'Or 2021 Award
We have compiled a list of the top five individual performers this year for the renowned Ballon d'Or award 2021. Take a look at the players who made our list.
05) N'Golo Kante (France & Chelsea)
Kante’s accomplishments in 2021: Champions League and UEFA Super Cup
N'Golo Kante has been Chelsea's most consistent performer this season. Chelsea qualified for the Champions League final thanks to Kante's outstanding performances in the knockout stages. He was outstanding in the CL final against Manchester City, helping the Blues win the tournament for the second time last May. Kante's influence on the current Chelsea squad can't be denied despite the fact that he was relatively quiet in the Euro 2020 tournament for France. Kante is expected to be one of the top five candidates for the Ballon d'Or 2021 award.
04) Romelu Lukaku (Belgium & Inter Milan)
Lukaku’s accomplishments in 2021: Serie A
Striker Romelu Lukaku's fortunes turned around after transferring from Manchester United to Inter Milan in 2019. He helped Inter Milan win the Serie A title for the first time in 11 years with 24 goals and 11 assists. He was Serie A's most valuable player for the 2020/2021 season. Lukaku had a quiet EURO campaign for Belgium, which might affect his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or award. The charismatic forward joined Chelsea from Inter Milan during the summer transfer window of 2021. Lukaku has been one of the top performers for Chelsea in the 2021-2022 season.
03) Robert Lewandowski (Germany & Bayern Munich)
Lewandowski’s accomplishments in 2021: Bundesliga & DFL Super Cup
Robert Lewandowski has been one of the finest strikers in the world in the last ten years. He broke Gerd Muller's record for most goals in a single Bundesliga season with 41 goals in the 2020/2021 season. Bayern Munich's most prolific striker has made an excellent start this season. However, Lewandowski failed to lead Poland to the knockout round of the EURO 2020 competition. Despite this, he scored three goals for the Polish national team in the tournament.
02) Jorginho (Italy & Chelsea)
Jorginho’s accomplishments in 2021: Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and UEFA European Championship 2020
Italian creative midfielder Jorginho has won more trophies than anybody else on the list in terms of winning silverware. Jorginho was a key player for Italy at EURO 2020, and he helped Chelsea win the Champions League in 2021. Jorginho is one of the leading candidates for the Ballon d'Or 2021.
01) Lionel Messi (Argentina & Barcelona)
Messi’s accomplishments in 2021: Copa del Rey, Copa America 2021
Individually, Lionel Messi had done well for Barcelona last season, assisting them in winning the Copa del Rey. However, Lionel Messi has emerged as one of the leading contenders for the Ballon d'Or 2021 award after winning the Copa America 2021. Lionel Messi's first major trophy with the Argentina national team came in this tournament. Messi was a standout performer for Argentina at the South American Championship. Deservedly, he is now in the lead in the race for the coveted individual trophy.
The Ballon d'Or 2021 award will be presented to the best player of the year on November 29, at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris. Personal performance is taken into consideration when picking the best footballer of the year. That’s why sports journalists, national team captains, and coaches will evaluate the individual performances of the nominated footballers before selecting the eventual winner.
Based on the achievements of the players, Argentina's Lionel Messi is the overwhelming favorite to win his seventh Ballon d'Or award this year. The diminutive Argentine magician won his first trophy with the national team last July and this success is likely to influence many panelists to vote for Messi. Italy's Jorginho and Polish striker Lewandowski also have a fair chance of winning the award since they have done well for their respective teams. On the other hand, Kante and Lukaku are also on the list by virtue of their praiseworthy performance in 2021