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Four main contenders for the Ballon d’Or in the future

Four main contenders for the Ballon d’Or in the future

Four main contenders for the Ballon d’Or in the future

Lionel Messi won his eighth and likely last «Golden Ball» in his career. Let’s examine who might be the next holder of this prestigious individual award. You can bet on their teams or personal achievements via

Erling Haaland

With the era of Messi and Ronaldo in world football effectively over, there is no longer a dominant figure, but Erling Haaland is seen as one of those who will shape the new era of the «Golden Ball» and consistently vie for the award in coming years.

Haaland has all the makings to contend for the «Golden Ball» because first and foremost, the Norwegian is part of one of the best teams worldwide. Manchester City competes for trophies in every tournament they enter, and Haaland ensures team success by maintaining fantastic productivity.

Haaland is a prolific scorer unfazed by opposition or venue. He netted 36 goals in 27 matches for Salzburg, 109 in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund, and already has 77 goals in 68 appearances for Manchester City. His scoring prowess is best evidenced by his performance with Norway, where he has 27 goals and 3 assists in 28 matches.

And for those who felt this season was underwhelming for Haaland, his stats speak volumes – 11 goals and 2 assists in 10 Premier League matches, 16 goal contributions in 15 matches this term.

Kylian Mbappé

Kylian Mbappé is the most obvious and perhaps ideal candidate to win the «Golden Ball» soon.
Mbappé’s footballing qualities need no elaboration. He’s rightly considered one of the best in the world thanks not just to his incredible scoring but also his spectacular style displayed almost every match.

Fans, journalists and experts often discuss Mbappé’s complex character and ability to court controversy, but each time, he erases doubts with performances for PSG or France. He continues to shine as if nothing happened.

Significantly for Mbappé is the «marketing» aspect of the «Golden Ball». Many believe Messi shouldn’t have won eight awards, but continued receiving them due to France Football’s commercial interests in awarding Messi. In this context, Mbappé could become the «next Messi», playing a major social role in world football.

What could hinder a «Golden Ball»: PSG. The Parisian club has struggled in Europe for years, even with Messi, Mbappé and Neymar. Without Champions League success, Mbappé has little chance of winning, so a mooted move to Real Madrid would be ideal.

Jude Bellingham

In his first 13 matches for Real Madrid, the Englishman has already scored more than Zinedine Zidane did in his best seasons, recorded a decisive brace against Barcelona in El Clásico, and scored in all three Champions League group games.

But Bellingham’s inclusion isn’t just about his powerful current form. At 17, Birmingham retired his number 22 shirt to honor him and inspire younger players to emulate his example on and off the pitch. By 18 and 19, he was integral for Borussia Dortmund as third captain and talisman. In June, the still only 20-year-old Bellingham already has 27 England caps and is seen as future skipper.

Jude’s secret, besides his brilliance on the pitch, is his mentality. He carries himself like a seasoned pro, showcasing fantastic play and earning plaudits after every move. At 20, Bellingham is already an on-field and locker room leader, a remarkably calm and confident player.

What could hinder a «Golden Ball»: a chronic knee injury. You may be unaware of Bellingham’s health issues – an old knee problem doesn’t currently hinder him but flared up last season.

In most matches before the end of the Dortmund campaign, Bellingham played heavily strapped and missed the final two Bundesliga games. This summer, he opted against surgery, instead treating it conservatively, but many doctors warn the constant knee strain could recur soon.

Harry Kane

Tottenham’s all-time top scorer, second highest in Premier League history, a guaranteed goal-getter, and England captain – Harry Kane, though yet to win trophies, is rightly considered one of England’s best and most lethal center forwards.

This summer Kane finally left Spurs for Bayern Munich, and the perfect on-paper match immediately clicked on the pitch.
With Kane’s arrival the German champions are again tipped as Champions League favorites, and the so-called «Kane effect» is already evident early in the season – Harry has 21 (!) goal contributions in just 13 matches for the record titleholders.

If Kane maintains such productivity, backed up by team success with Bayern and England, he’ll be firmly in «Golden Ball» contention by the end of 2023/24.

What could hinder a «Golden Ball»: age. At 30, Kane is the oldest here. The Englishman can’t delay in making the most of his powers, especially with such competition.

Thanks for reading Four main contenders for the Ballon d’Or in the future

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