France Football today announces their 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, otherwise the greatest footballer of the last year, with the winner announced prior to the World Cup.
Lionel Messi has been the deserved winner for a number of years, and a not-so-deserved champion for the last few awards, however, his name is unlikely going to grace the golden trophy this year around.
One favourite that stands above the rest is Karim Benzema. He won the Champions League and La Liga, with his performances against Chelsea and Manchester City deserving of being crowned the best.
The award has never favoured the players gracing the Premier League for one reason or another, (let’s blame Brexit!) so will it be a surprise should a Manchester City player hold the trophy come 17 October?
No, it wouldn’t and yes it would, is the answer that doesn’t make sense.
Manchester City has the world’s best when it comes to talent, but their performances have not been stand out consistently to earn that award in the previous year, especially as the Champions League win continues to allude them.
Consistently good enough for some players to earn their spot on the shortlist. Definitely, but who?
Four players (Ruben Dias, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne) all made the list last year, but are we likely to see a repeat of the names this year?