5 leading contenders to win the 2018 Ballon d'Or
The 30-man shortlist for the 2018 Ballon d’Or was announced on Monday. As expected, five-time winners, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made it to the list. Also, players like Harry Kane, Luka Modric, Eden Hazard, and Kylian Mbappe got themselves into the final 30.
The shortlist list is dominated by players from the 2018 World Cup winning France squad and European Champions, Real Madrid. There were some surprise exclusions in the form of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, United’s David De Gea, Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, and Inter’s Ivan Perisic.
Also, there were quite a few surprising inclusions with the likes of Karim Benzema, Luis Suarez, and Thibaut Courtois. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Paris, France on 3rd December 2018.
On that note, let’s take a look at the 5 leading contenders to win the 2018 Ballon d'Or Award.
#5 Raphael Varane
Varane is one of the very few players in the world to win both the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup in the same year. Raphael Varane was phenomenal for Real Madrid in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League and played a stellar role in their title win. He was solid at the back and formed a great partnership with Sergio Ramos.
Varane’s value has skyrocketed after his stunning exploits at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Real Madrid star was exceptional for France in the tournament and played a crucial role in their title success. He made seven appearances in the tournament and was one of their best players. Though Ballon d’Or’s history favours attacking players, Varane has every chance to make it to the top five.