As Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi make the way out of the World Cup in the round of16 last weekend, so will there be a new winner of the Ballon d’Or this year? We have seen potential stars in 2018 world cup who could win Ballon d’Or 2018.
Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the honour over the past decade, winning five times each, but their World Cup hopes have been disappointed by the outings of Portugal and Argentina in the round of 16.
So, what other stars could be in the price? We are looking at five potential candidates for the 2018 Ballon d’Or, four of whom are still in the running for the World Cup …
Neymar has long been considered the player most likely to break the duopoly of Ronaldo-Messi. He became the most expensive player in the world with his move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for £ 222m last summer and his first season in France was not without problems, he still managed 28 goals in 30 matches as PSG won the league last season.
Can a triumph of the World Cup win him the highest individual honour? Neymar did not hide his desire to win the Ballon dÓr, admitting that this was his main motivation to get out of the shadow of Messi and move to PSG and that he was at the heart of the march for Brazil to the quarterfinals in Russia…
His goals against Costa Rica and Mexico have taken him to 57 for Brazil (he’s only behind Pele and Ronaldo in their all-time standings) and he’ll be desperate to add to that total when they face Belgium in the last eight. If he can inspire them to the trophy, it will be hard to ignore.
Mbappe produced the most explosive performance of his proliferate career in the 4-3 win over Argentina in the round of 16 on Saturday, scoring twice and winning a penalty following a brilliant run in his own half.
The Foward is still only 19 years old, but he has already established himself as one of the biggest stars in the world. Having proved himself in Monaco, he had a successful first season with Neymar at PSG, scoring 21 goals in 44 games and adding another Ligue 1 title to the one he had raised with his childhood club in the previous campaign.
If he can produce more performances to match his performance against Argentina in Russia, he could be in the frame to become the youngest winner of the Ballon d’Or of history.
Kane’s extraordinary goal rate shows no signs of slowing down. The 24-year-old has yet to win a silverware with Tottenham, but last season was his best for the moment as he broke the 40-goal mark for the first time.
Crucial, he resumed where he had stopped this summer on the biggest stage of all. Kane saved England against Tunisia, opening the scoring and scoring the decisive goal in the final moments of the match, and followed with a hat-trick against Panama, placing him in the top of the standings in just two games.
Kane is now the main competitor to win the Golden Boot, and with the road from England to the final, he has a good chance of increasing his total, starting with Colombia on Tuesday.
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne is another player who can make a case for himself. The playmaker was outstanding in the triumph of Manchester City’s historic title last season, scoring eight goals and providing 16 assists as they became the first team in Premier League history to reach 100 points.
He is the brain of Pep Guardiola’s team and plays the same role with Belgium. His outside help for Romelu Lukaku against Panama is likely to become one of the passes of the tournament and he launched the counterattack against Japan. But De Bruyne will be eager to add more magical moments to his showreel in the coming weeks.
Inspiring Belgium to the glory of the World Cup would undoubtedly be its best achievement to date.
Unlike Neymar, Mbappe, Kane and De Bruyne, Salah’s opportunity for the World Cup has already passed after the elimination of the group stage in Russia, but he scored two goals in both games.
In total, there were 44 goals in 52 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s team, including 32 in the Premier League. His first campaign ended in injury in the Champions League final, leaving Liverpool out of the way, but the PFA and FWA player of the year will surely be a Ballon d’Or contender if his extraordinary heroic goals continue in the first half of next season.
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