Very few people would have predicted that Luka Modric would be the man to perturb Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s decade long run as Ballon d’Or winners but the diminutive Croatian became the first different player since Kaka in 2007 to win the French Footballing gong.
As 2019 looms, attention begins to turn to whom will follow on from Modric to assert themselves as a dominant footballing force and with no national team competitions during the summer, club football looks to be the best barometer of the best player in the world in 2019.
Return to form for the Old Guard?
Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo failed to significantly impact upon the World Cup in the summer but both men had incredible seasons – just not by their own meteoric standards. Ronaldo picked up his third Champions League in a row with Real Madrid before moving to Juventus whilst Messi inspired Barcelona to yet another La Liga title – with both men scoring over 30 goals for their respective clubs in the calendar year. Few would bet against them featuring in the nominations next year and once again they lead the markets. Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the favourite to win the 2019 Ballon D’Or at 7/4 with Ladbrokes whilst Bet 365 are offering 2/1 on Lionel Messi to claim the famous trophy once more.
New Kids on the Block
Brazilian Neymar Jr is the world’s most expensive player and despite achieving domestic dominance with Paris Saint Germain he is yet to consistently prove his worth on the international stage but this could be a breakthrough year for him and Paddy Power are offering at 9/2 on him winning his first Ballon D’Or. Similarly, club team mate Kylian Mbappe is seen as the next big talent in the world game after an impressive showing in France’s world cup win. At 19 years of age he looks to have the world at his feet and currently looks a good bet at 5/1 with Sky Bet to win the Ballon D’Or.
Premier League Winner?
It has been over a decade since a Premier League player won the Ballon d’Or with Cristiano Ronaldo the last to do so in his final season at Manchester United. Mohamed Salah was integral for Liverpool last season and if the reds are to compete for trophies again this season and William Hill are offering 8/1 on Salah clinching the Ballon D’Or. World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane is a goal machine but his Spurs side have a lot of work to do domestically but if his goals fire them up the league, he could get international recognition and his is currently 14/1 with Coral to win the Ballon D’Or. Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has been in electrifying form for the past 18 months and if City are to break their European duck, he could be their main man – Sterling is 16/1 with 888 Sport to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
Image sourced from Shutterstock.
Marcus Holland is CEO and Editor of Wagered.com and has been writing for ten years about his two favourite topics – finance and gambling. Marcus has been featured on TheBigGame.co.uk, FuturesMag.com, Investing.com, and various other online publications. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.