FIFA has released the short list for the Ballon d’Or 2015, the Gold Ball award where the best football player of the world is chosen. Yes, that means one thing: the time of the year when you discuss whether Ronaldo or Messi is the best has come. During the last five years, these two have been present among the top three players of the world and, this year, it is Neymar who will try to stop this hegemony. Let’s have a closer look on the chances of each one.
Neymar is the new kid on the block. He has been the main player for the Brazilian National team in the previous years and recently is on the spotlight in Barcelona. His skills are unique and it is visible that he became a much more mature player in relation to previous seasons. In the absence of Messi, he achieved consistently good performances which helped Barcelona to assure its position on the top of Champions League group phase and La Liga. It is debatable though, if he has reached the same level as Messi and Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the winner of the two previous editions. His figures, as usual, justify his nomination. The 30-years-old player still holds an average of almost one goal per match this season. In addition to that, he has played a significant role in Portugal’s qualification for Euro 2016. The circumstances are different, however, from the last Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo’s accomplishment in Madrid are nothing like last year. With Real not reaching the finals of Champions League and holding the second position in the Spanish League, there are no trophies in his cabinet this season.
Lionel Messi needs no introduction. The Argentinian has won the prize four times and yet this year comes as a favourite. His outstanding performance during the UEFA Champions League, where he drove Barcelona to the title, is his best credential. An injury in September of this year however left Messi out of the pitch for around two months. Can this jeopardize his chances of a fifth Ballon d’Or?
The winners will be announced on January 11th in Zurich. All the players have their own particular reasons that could bring them to the top. The winner however can only be one!