We probably didn’t have this many world-class performances, all gunning for the Ballon d’Or, in recent memory. In Part I, we already discussed the top five contenders for 2021. We will discuss five more players who had a terrific season and will be in the hunt for the coveted football award.
Here we go:
Based on recent form, Karim Benzema is extremely close to Salah as the current best. Since Ronaldo’s departure, Benzema has seamlessly taken over the mantle as the leader of the pack and with great effect. Having scored 41 goals and 14 assists, he helped the French side to the Nations League title and came awfully close to winning La Liga in a close contest with Atletico. With the form that he is in, we are in for some Benzema special.
The phenom that Ronaldo is – it is no wonder that he features in the list. Cristiano could not win the league title or the Champions League or the Euros, but he had a stellar season nonetheless. He has bagged 42 goals and 6 assists so far in 2021, and the numbers are getting better. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had amazing Euros winning the Golden boot and has been producing clutch goals since joining the red devils.
Haaland has been an enigma since he burst into the scenes. Just 21, he has become the leader for Norway and Dortmund alike. With 43 goals and 13 assists so far, he has been at the heart of the Dortmund attack. The scary thing is, he is just starting. The hunger and ruthlessness he possesses when it comes to goal scoring will see him feature in many more Ballon d’Or and probably winning a few – and that is a spoiler.
Kante has impressed one and all with his humility, dedication, and unparalleled passion for the game – but even more with his football. And slowly, he is getting the attention and praise that he utterly deserves. He is an indispensable cog in the French and Chelsea sides. The ever-dependable midfielder helped Chelsea win the Champions league with man-of-the-match performances in both the semis and the finals. He may not have as many goals or assists to show for, but the impact he had on Chelsea’s success is undeniable.
Kevin De Bruyne
One of the best players going around at the moment, Kevin De Bruyne has made a name for himself courtesy of some seemingly easy, breath-taking football. The consecutive PFA Player of the year award in the past two seasons is a testament to the quality he possesses. He helped Manchester City to another Premier League title to go along with Carabao Cup. He has assisted 16 goals and scored 14 himself in 2021. With the numbers and the impact, he has made a genuine case for the gong.
They are all elite football players who had a wonderful year of football but come November 29, there will be only one winner. May the best and most deserving player win Ballon d’Or.