The Ballon d’Or 2020 was cancelled by France Football due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now in 2021, the top players are making their cases to claim the coveted individual honor.
With the conclusion of Euro 2020 and Copa América, we may now figure out which players are the contenders for the Ballon d’Or 2021.
#5 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus / Portugal)
Despite getting older, Cristiano Ronaldo is still prolific in front of goal. The 5-time Ballon d’Or winner had a decent season with the Old Lady in Turin. He had 27 goals and four assists for club and country in 2021.
Ronaldo missed out on the Serie A title as Inter Milan held the Scudetto, but he won Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.
The Euro 2020 golden boot winner has the stats needed to win the Ballon d’Or, but the underwhelming performances from Juventus and Portugal weigh down his chances of winning the honor for the 6th time and get levels with Lionel Messi for the number of Ballon d’Ors.
#4 Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan / Belgium)
The Inter Milan Scudetto triumphant is in the form of his life. He ended Juventus’ dominance in Serie A by scoring 30 goals in all competitions for the Nerazzurri.
Romelu Lukaku scored 22 goals for club & country in the calendar year of 2021.
If Lukaku leads the Belgian Red Devils to UEFA Nations League glory in October, he will have a hefty boost in the chances of securing the significant honor.
#3 Jorginho (Chelsea / Italy)
Jorginho played a key role for Chelsea in their Champions League winning run. But unlike Kanté, Jorginho did end up winning Euro 2020, having played a stellar role in Azzurri’s quest for continental dominance.
Jorginho’s impact in his teams is very much in resemblance to “the Modric role” when the Croatian won the Ballon d’Or in 2018, working in full effect for his team and controlling the balance of the game with his calm and composing skills with the ball.
Former Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola reckons his compatriot is the best choice for the award.
“Should they give it to Jorginho? It would be deserved. He gives concrete balance and pace to his teams. I was lucky to have him at Chelsea and I know what he does on the pitch. It would be deserved because not only were his performances at a high level, but the teams he played for have been outstanding. This must be taken into account.” said the Italian great.
#2 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich / Poland)
Stopped from receiving the award in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bayern Munich striker continued his goalscoring form and further improved it. He broke the 49-year old long-standing record of Bayern legend Gerd Müller after netting 41 goals in just 29 Bundesliga games.
Robert Lewandowski has scored 32 goals for club & country in 2021 till now, and it seems there’s no way to stop his prolific scoring form. The European golden boot winner has been the best number 9 on the planet for quite a while now. He would now be confident of having a huge shout for the Ballon d’Or.
#1 Lionel Messi (Barcelona / Argentina)
It’s the year 2021, and finally, the 15-years long-awaited moment arrived. Millions of fans impatiently waited to witness Lionel Andrés Messi win a national trophy, “Copa América” for Argentina.
The Player of the tournament and Golden boot winner at the Copa América, Lionel Messi, scored 33 goals and bagged 14 assists in all competitions in 2021. His phenomenal form this year dragged Barcelona back into the LaLiga title race whilst they won the Copa del Rey with him.
It will take something very extraordinary to knock Lionel Messi off this perch. He certainly looks like the favorite to win the coveted individual honor “Ballon d’Or” for the seventh time.