The list of contenders for the prestigious award, Ballon d’Or, finally came out on Monday. Most of the usual suspects made their way into the nomination and come January one of them will be having the trophy in their hands.
Since the last ten years, only two men on this planet have been fighting for Ballon d’Or. The last person to win the award not named Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi was Brazil’s Kaka in 2007. He managed that feat after an exceptional season with AC Milan where he guided them to a UEFA Champions League title.
However, it is quite possible that 2018 is going to be the year where the 10-year streak ends. Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric had an exceptional season where he anchored the team to an unprecedented third successive UEFA Champions League trophy. In the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, he captained Croatia to the final of the tournament and was adjudged as the best player as well.
Modric won the title of Men’s FIFA Player of the Year recently and is the clearly the favourite to clinch the Ballon d’Or trophy for 2018.
Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Diego Godín (Atlético Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Isco (Real Madrid), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N’golo Kanté (Chelsea), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Neymar (PSG), Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Luis Suárez (Barcelona), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
The most successful female footballer in the history of the sport, Marta, has once again been nominated for Women’s Ballon d’Or. She already clinched the title for the FIFA Women’s player of the year, and frankly has no competition when it comes to individual glory in women’s football. Her accomplishments are astonishing for a single player, as she holds the record of having six titles to her name.
Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe saw his name in another list and one where he is an out-right leading runner, the Trophée Kopa. This award will be given to the best U-21 player, and hardly anyone has made an impact on an international or domestic scale as the 19-year old Frenchman who plays for Paris Saint-Germain.