The Ballon d’Or has always been an accolade of much interest and fascination to the world’s top stars. This World Cup, the performances in the greatest show on earth carries a lot of weightage while determining the best player of that year.
With Russia 2018 coming to a close, let’s take a look at three stars of the tournament who have staked their claims for this year’s best player award.
After nine years at Real Madrid, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sent the footballing world into shock & meltdown when it was officially announced yesterday that he’d be joining Italian outfit Juventus for 100 million euros.
Ronaldo has cemented himself as one of the greatest ever to grace the beautiful game. In his final season with Real Madrid, Ronaldo once again helped them win the Champions league for the third time in a row and astonishingly a fourth one in five years.
He also was the top scorer in the Champions League last season. And in the World Cup, Ronaldo started with one of the best individual performances the World Cup had seen, scoring a hat-trick against Spain in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Ronaldo once again was decisive against Morocco as he became the European with most international goals.
Even though Portugal went out in the Round of 16, Ronaldo’s own performances aren’t to be belittled. In Juventus, if Ronaldo keeps on scoring like he always does; there’s an unprecedented 6th Ballon d’Or waiting for him at the end of this year.
Croatia & Real Madrid’s midfield machine has always been one of the top midfielders of the game. Yet, it’s somewhat unfortunate that all his prowess always went under the radar because of the lack goals & assists in his game. But not anymore. With what most probably is the last World Cup together for Croatia’s golden generation, they’ve excelled.
For the first time in 20 years, they’re through to the semi finals of the World Cup. And at the heart of it all, is the ‘Mercurial Magician’ himself.
With two goals, one assist & two successful penalties in two shootouts, Modric is well & truly firing in the stats chart. Needless to say, he’s been absolutely magisterial for his club Real Madrid as well.
If Modric can guide Croatia to their first ever World Cup glory; complemented with his excellent club form, who’s to say the era of midfielders winning the Ballon d’Or won’t be back with the ‘Little Magician’ as a most worthy recipient?
Ever since his debut season with Monaco, Mbappe’s name has been on the lips of the footballing world. At just 19, world’s most expensive teenager of all time has lit up the World Cup.
With the amazing dribbling skills & sprint speed even the ‘Flash’ would be proud of, Mbappe has shown exactly what he’s made of.
After a trio of relatively dim group stage performances, Mbappe was the main man against Argentina where he literally ran riot against them. Scoring two, Mbappe also won France the penalty that gave ‘Les Blues’ the lead.
With 3 goals, Mbappe is primed for the bronze boot award. And with performances like what he’s been showcasing, the golden ball may very well have its youngest ever winner this term. 22 goals for PSG last season just adds to the massive expectation from him that he could be the one to break the worldwide dominance of Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo.