Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be named as one of the nominees for the Ballon d’Or today, as a 30-man shortlist is announced.
After a year-long hiatus due to the impact of the corona pandemic on global domestic football, the world’s most prestigious individual football award will return later this year.
This afternoon, 30 players will be nominated for the award – with United returning again expected to be in the running for the biggest honor.
After a magnificent season for Juventus, followed by a warm start to life back in Manchester, Ronaldo is once again looking to compete with longtime rival Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo has won the award five times in the last 12 years.
However, the running favorite this year is the man who has won the award six times in the last 12 years – Lionel Messi.
The former Barcelona turned PSG star has scored 37 goals and 14 assists in 46 games this calendar year.
Ronaldo has meanwhile recorded 34 goals and four assists in 47 games.
But who else is among the favorites? Here’s who the odds makers have as their favorites (via SkyBet).
Ballon D’Or 2021 favorites
Lionel Messi: 1/2
As mentioned earlier, Lionel Messi’s statistics speak for themselves. A simply dominant attacking player who drew Barcelona to a title race last season – they are really fighting without him.
Robert Lewandowski: 5/1
At the age of 33, the Polish striker is without a doubt in the shape of his life. Lewandowski scored 41 goals in 29 games while leading Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga championship, performing as the best number 9 on the planet – and continues to impress this season with seven goals in as many games.
A somewhat malignant player, Jorginho has simply had an incredible year. He became an important figure for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea and was one of their better performances on the way to winning the Champions League final before winning the European Championship with Italy.
Kevin de Bruyne: 12/1
Manchester City’s talisman had a simply phenomenal year when his side wanted to cruise to a Premier League title. He was named PFA Player of the Year for the second season in a row.
N’Golo Edge: 12/1
Along with Jorginho, the Frenchman was vital in Chelsea’s Champions League race. Without a doubt the best box-to-box midfielder in the world-N’Golo Kante has gone from underrated and underrated to Ballon D’Or candidate.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 16/1
Low among the favorites, it looks like Ronaldo’s previous season will be taken for granted. With 34 goals and four assists in 47 games – CR7 will definitely be considered for the award again this year.