The Ballon d’Or is back, with the great and good of the football world again eyeing the most coveted individual prize in football with Europe’s best player receiving the iconic trophy during the traditional ceremony in the New Year.
There was some debate when organisers opted against awarding the Ballon d’Or in 2020 due to the pandemic, shortened campaigns and matches played behind closed doors.
The decision saw heavy favourite Robert Lewandowski miss out on the men’s Ballon d’Or, and this year the Bayern Munich striker has some stiff competition.
— France Football #BallondOr (@francefootball) October 8, 2021
Fourteen of the 30 nominees play in the Premier League. The shortlist includes four England players – Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Mason Mount.
Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté and César Azpilicueta are also nominated after the team’s Champions League triumph, while Jorginho is among the favourites after also winning Euro 2020 with Italy.
Manchester United duo Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah are also shortlisted.
Ballon D’Or 2021 favourites
- Lionel Messi – 4/11
- Robert Lewandowski – 5/1
- Jorginho – 13/2
- N’Golo Kante – 8/1
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 14/1
- Harry Kane – 16/1
Messi’s closest challenger in the betting is Robert Lewandowski at 5/1 after he won the 2020/2021 European Golden Shoe, having scored 41 Bundesliga goals as Bayern won the German league title last season.
Jorginho is next in the running at 13/2 as he played a key role in Chelsea winning the Champions League last season before triumphing at Euro 2020 with Italy in the summer.
Ballon d’Or nominees
- Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea, Spain)
- Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan, Italy)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, France)
- Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus, Italy)
- Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus, Italy)
- Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG, Italy)
- Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United, Portugal)
- Phil Foden (Manchester City, England)
- Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, Norway)
- Jorginho (Chelsea, Italy)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham, England)
- N’Golo Kante (Chelsea, France)
- Simon Kjaer (AC Milan, Denmark)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland)
- Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, Belgium)
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, Algeria)
- Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan, Argentina)
- Kylian Mbappe (PSG, France)
- Lionel Messi (PSG, Argentina)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia)
- Gerard Moreno (Villarreal, Spain)
- Mason Mount (Chelsea, England)
- Neymar (PSG, Brazil)
- Pedri (Barcelona, Spain)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Portugal)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City, England)
- Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid, Uruguay)
The winner of the award will be crowned on November 29, with the ceremony taking place at the Théâtre du Châtelet de Paris.