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Will Haaland, Salah, Saka, and Kane ever win a Ballon d’Or?

John Sampson April 7, 2023

Believe it or not, there was a time when the Ballon d’Or race was fascinating, with ten or more footballers fighting for the ultimate individual award. Before Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo turned it into an affair of their own, with them winning a combined 12 trophies in 14 years (Modric and Benzema were the ones to break the trend), it was anybody’s game. Will it be the same after the two football mega-stars decline? There are already outright odds for that. Let’s visit them together.

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It all starts… next season

It is almost certain that after winning the World Cup for Argentina, Lionel Messi will collect his 8th Ballon d’Or this season. Will it be his last? Are we going back to an age when there was no absolute favourite? As a matter of fact, before Ronaldo and Messi started their era of dominance, ten different footballers won the ten awards leading to Cristiano’s first. So are we heading back to that, or will we see a new two-man rivalry, between Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland?

Since we mentioned the Norwegian, his odds at William Hill are rather different than for the rest of the lot. He is offered at 2/1 to win not any Ballon d’Or, as he seems destined to join the elite club at some point, but to do it until 2025 when he turns 25. This leaves him two seasons, as this one, he will probably be Messi’s runner-up. So will he do it in 2023-24 or 2024-25? That is the real question here.

The favourites

World football has a plethora of young stars. Haaland and Mbappe are exceptional, but they are not the only ones. You have the likes of Real Madrid’s Vinicius, Napoli’s Kvicha Kvaratskelia, Bayern’s Jamal Musiala, Manchester City’s Phil Foden, Barcelona’s Gavi, and Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. They are the favourites to win the award at some point in their career. Alongside them, we find some older guys who would have certainly won at least one were there not for Messi and Ronaldo. These are Neymar and Kevin de Bruyne.

See the latest odds

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