Italy, European champion of nations, and Chelsea, winner of the Champions League, dominate the list of 30 candidates to win the Ballon d’Or, which includes the Argentine Lionel Messi, the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and the Croatian Luca Modric , winners of the last twelve editions.
Five European champions with Italy and six Chelsea players, five of them winners of the Champions League plus the recently signed Romelu Lukaku, are on the list drawn up by 180 journalists and revealed this Friday by France Football magazine, which will announce the winner next November 29.
Only the Brazilian-born player Jorginho has won both trophies, although the bets do not place him among the favorites, an honor given to Messi, winner of the Copa América, where he was also the best player and top scorer.
The footballer, who this summer left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain can thus add his seventh Ballon d’Or, including the last, delivered in 2019, since last year he was suspended due to the pandemic.
His Brazilian teammate in Paris Saint-Germain Neymar, twice third, his compatriot of Inter Milan Lautaro Martínez, also champion of America, and the Uruguayan of Atlético de Madrid Luis Suárez, winner of the Spanish league and author of 21 goals, They complete the list of South Americans who can win the prestigious award that will be delivered on November 29.
Italians Nicolo Barella, Leonardo Bonucci, Jorginho, Giorgio Chiellini and goalkeeper Gianluiggi Donnarumma, are the Italians competing for the award, ahead of the English, Eurocup finalists Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling.
By clubs, Chelsea, European champion, has six candidates, since it has incorporated the Belgian Romelu Lukaku, ahead of the five of Manchester City, finalist of the Champions League, and of the four of Paris Saint-Germain, that he has incorporated Messi and Donnarumma and that he already had Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.
Azpilicueta, Ngolo Kanté, Mason Mount, Jorginho, as well as Lukaku, signed this summer from Inter, are the representatives of the winner of the last Champions League, while the finalist has Kevin de Bruyne, Ruben Dias, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez.
By leagues, the English one monopolizes the majority of the candidacies, 15, compared to the 5 of the Spanish, the 4 of Italy and France, all of them in PSG, and the two of Germany.
Romelu Lukaku had to appear to unblock Chelsea against the rocky Zenit of Saint Petersburg. Photo: .
The list also contains some of the brightest footballers of the year, although they have not added titles, such as the Norwegian Erling Haaland, top scorer in the Champions League, the French Kylian Mbappé, author of 42 goals in the year or his compatriot Karim Benzema, who has achieved 23 goals and 9 assists.
The Belgian Kevin de Bruyne, champion of England and finalist of the Champions League, or the Polish Robert Lewandowsky, who has surpassed Muller’s mythical record with 41 goals, are also up for the award.
Among the surprises is the young Spaniard Pedri, chosen at the age of 18 as the best youngster of the last European Championship, his compatriot Gerard Moreno, winner with Villarreal in the Europa League, where he was the top scorer, and the Danish Simon Kjaer.
His main merit, having rescued his teammate Eriksen during the last European Championship, when he collapsed on the grass, in addition to having contributed to taking Denmark to the semi-final of the competition.
Among the great absences, the Frenchman from Atlético de Madrid Antoine Griezmann stands out, who has not been missing since 2016, in addition to the Dutchman from Liverpool Virgil van Dijk, second in the last edition and who has been the victim of a long injury.
Pedri is the only component of the list of 30 that is also among the 10 candidates for the Kopa trophy, which designates the best under-21 of the year.
Pedri continues to prove his worth with great performances. Photo: Twitter @FCBarcelona_es
Joining him are the English Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), the Alemanni Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich) and Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), the Belgian Jérémy Doku (Rennes), the Dutch Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax Amsterdam), the American Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) and the Portuguese Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain).
Donnarumma is the only one also on the Yashin trophy list for best goalkeeper.
The Italian, chosen as the best player of the last European Championship, who won his national team, will compete with his now partner in PSG, the Costa Rican Keylor Navas, as well as Aston Villa Emiliano Martínez and the Brazilian from Manchester City Ederson.
The list is completed by the Belgian from Real Madrid Thibaut Courtois, the Slovenian from Atlético de Madrid Jan Oblak, his compatriot from Inter Milan Samir Handanovic, the German from Bayern Munich Manuel Nauer, the Danish from Leicester Kasper Schmeichel and the Senegalese from Chelsea Edouard Mendy.
FEMALE GOLDEN BALL
The women’s Ballon d’Or is dominated by Spain, which has achieved four names among the list of 30 drawn up by a jury of 50 journalists specializing in women’s football.
They are the Barcelona players Alexia Putellas, Sandra Paños and Jennifer Hermoso and the Paris Saint-Germain Irene Paredes.
Chilean Lyon goalkeeper Christiane Endler also opts to take over from the American Megan Rapione, winner in 2019 of the only edition in which the women’s Ballon d’Or has been awarded.
Barcelona has another player among the candidates, the Dutch Lieke Martens.
But it is Chelsea, with five candidates who have achieved the most names, the Canadian Jessie Fleming, the Swedish Magdalena Eriksson, the English Fran Kirby, the Norwegian Pernille Haerder and the Australian Sam Kerr.
PSG also has three applicants, in addition to Paredes: the Canadian Ashley Lawrence and the French Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, while Lyon has another, in addition to Endler, the gala Wendie Renard.
The Canadian Christine Sinclair (Thorns FC), the Swedish Stina Blackstenius (BK Häcken), the English Ellen White (Manchester City), the Dutch Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal) and the American Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) complete the list.