This year, Ballon d’Or might bring some surprises: new names, different players, and even several positions for submitted athletes. With Chelsea winning the Champions League, Italy’s triumphant Euros, and Argentine long-awaited Copa America, many different personalities to choose from.
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Accomplishments in 2021: 39 scored, 13 assisted. Titles: DFB-Pokal.
There was a battle for the Norwegian super forward this summer. Chelsea was prepared to pay an amount that seems obscene in pandemic business. Real Madrid, in search of a forward, was analyzing Erling’s move. Bayern, always interested in Bundesliga’s talent, considered buying him, but Borussia Dortmund’s boss said firmly to everyone: Haaland is not for sale this summer. In the first leg of the Champions League, it became clear why: Erling scored quickly in Besiktas net and helped create some chances. There’s no doubt Haaland’s going to become one of the top scorers in Bundesliga, so finding the best odds and betting operators on bookmaker-ratings to profit from this opinion might be a good idea after all.
Dortmund is hardly to blame for their decision not to sell the Norwegian forward: not only did they sell one of their most prized assets, Jadon Sancho, to Manchester United for a high price, but they won’t worry about replacement. Jude Bellingham, 18, scored in the exact match against Besiktas and made an assist. The Englishman was bought from Birmingham for €22m and is already valued at double that.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Accomplishments in 2021: 49 scored, 7 assisted. Titles: Bundesliga, Club World Cup, DFL-Supercup.
The Bayern Munich forward is a top contender for the Golden Shoe award. The Polish forward scored 41 goals in one season in the Bundesliga and broke Gerd Müller’s unbelievable record of 49 years.
Lewandowski has no plans of giving anyone the Ballon d’Or award either, having made a solid start to the new season. Barcelona stood no chance against Bayern (3-0) in the Champions League, and Robert scored twice.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Accomplishments in 2021: 32 scored, 4 assisted. Titles: Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana.
Speaking of legendary strikers, Ronaldo, at 36, continues to prove he is the highest-paid player in the English Premier League for a reason. Having only just moved from Italy, the forward scored two goals in his EPL debut against Newcastle and then helped take the lead in the Champions League game against BSC Young Boys.
As things are looking now, Cristiano can confidently challenge for the Ballon d’Or top-five spot and justify himself after his team’s poor display at UEFA EURO 2020.
Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
Accomplishments in 2021: 36 scored, 14 assisted. Titles: Copa America, Copa del Rey.
The careers of Ronaldo and Messi are inseparably linked. For the fans, living at the same time as these legendary players, and seeing them play, is a pleasure in itself. Of course, there’s no shortage of comparisons and arguments about who’s better. And while the Portuguese has failed to win any significant titles with either club or the national side, Lionel has managed to help Argentina finally win Copa America.
Since moving to PSG, Messi has had difficulties adapting to the new team’s game. Coach Mauricio Pochettino has been unsure how to make the most of his MNM (Messi-Neymar-Mbappe) superpower, resulting in a 1-1 draw in the opening Champions League game against Brugge. It remains hoped that this crazy-named team will start to live up to expectations not only on paper but also on the pitch by December.
Accomplishments in 2021: 5 scored, 2 assisted. Titles: Euro 2020, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup.
Many pundits at a time have suggested that Jorginho is a temporary option for Chelsea. That midfielder can only play in Maurizio Sarri’s system, with the departure of which rumours about the transfer of the Italian began to swirl. As time has shown, the player’s professionalism and skills have made him vital in England under Lampard and Tuchel and in Roberto Mancini’s team on their way to the UEFA EURO 2020 title.
However, since 2000, the Ballon d’Or has only once awarded players outside the attacking group, Fabio Cannavaro in 06′. We can also add four cases in which non-strikers won the award because it is significant: Pavel Nedvěd in 03′, Ronaldinho in 05′, Kaká in 07′, Luka Modric in 18′, who played as an attacking midfielder. Jorginho is close to all these great players in terms of his influence on the game. If the committee has to choose a winner between the obvious contenders and the Italian midfielder, we recommend choosing the latter.