Ballon d’Or 2021 Power Rankings: Could kante and Lewandowski still catch Messi?
The awarding of the prize was cancelled in 2020 and the world’s best players are again making their cases to claim the coveted individual honour
After being cancelled in 2020, the Ballon d’Or is back, with the great and good of the football world again eyeing the biggest individual honour the game has to offer.
The prize will not be handed out until December, meaning that players can still make their cases to succeed 2019 winner Lionel Messi over the coming months, despite most of the major club and international silverware having been won already.
So, by using the performances of the contenders so far, as well as predictions of what is likely still to come in 2021, who holds the most power in this year’s race?
Getty/GoalRomelu Lukaku (Chelsea)Last time: 5thIn 2021: 29 goals, eight assists. Won Serie A.Lukaku’s towering header to beat Zenit in Chelsea’s Champions League opener served as yet another reminder of how much of a game-changer the Belgium striker will be for the Blues going forward.
- Getty/GoalN’Golo Kante (Chelsea)Last time: 4thIn 2021: One goal, one assist. Won Champions League & UEFA Super Cup.Kante’s emergence off the bench against Tottenham on Sunday swung the game in Chelsea’s favour, and though he got slightly fortunate with a deflection, his first goal of 2021 for club or country was a decent reward for the midfield star.
- Getty/GoalJorginho (Chelsea)Last time: 3rdIn 2021: Five goals, two assists. Won Euro 2020, Champions League & UEFA Super Cup.It remains controversial for some, but while Jorginho continues to keep things ticking over in the Chelsea midfield his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or remain relatively high.UEFA’s Player of the Year is a contender – deal with it!
- Getty/GoalRobert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)Last time: 2ndIn 2021: 48 goals, seven assists. Won Bundesliga, Club World Cup & DFL-Supercup.Lewandowski has 11 goals in just seven games to start the season, and is showing no signs of slowing down as he closes in on a half-century of strikes for the calendar year.Maintain that form until December, and he could yet pip the current No 1 in these rankings to the biggest individual prize of them all.
- Getty/GoalLionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)Last time: 1stIn 2021: 36 goals, 14 assists. Won Copa America & Copa del Rey.Is there a scenario where Messi does not win his seventh Ballon d’Or in 2021?If there is, then a slow start to life at PSG is probably part of it, with the Argentine’s substitution when Mauricio Pochettino was chasing a winning goal against Lyon on Sunday a sure sign that Messi is not quite hitting top gear in France yet