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5 of the biggest Ballon d'Or predictions so far

Ronaldo poses with his 5 Ballon d'Or trophies
Ronaldo poses with his 5 Ballon d'Or trophies

Ever since the official reveal of the the 30-man shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or, the internet has literally been asking only one question - Who's going to win the Ballon d'Or 2018?

Unlike the previous 10 years, when the obvious answer to that question would be either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, things seem a bit complicated this time around.

With Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric winning The Best FIFA Men's Player 2018 award ahead of the two legends, many people are starting to believe that this is the year the Ronaldo/Messi duopoly finally ends at the Ballon d'Or as well.

With the date of announcement inching closer every passing day, lets take a look at the 5 boldest claims made by some of the top players, managers, and pundits regarding Ballon d'Or 2018's outcome.


#1 Luka Modric gives his vote to French superstar

Luka Modric was named the Best FIFA Men's Player in September
Luka Modric was named the Best FIFA Men's Player in September

The World Cup 2018 Golden Ball winner and The Best FIFA Men's Player awardee Luka Modric, is a strong contender himself for the Ballon d'Or this year, following a third consecutive Champions League triumph with Real Madrid, and an unprecedented run to the World Cup final this summer.

But when asked the million dollar question about who should take home the Ballon d'Or trophy this December, the former Tottenham star said he sees Atletico Madrid superstar Antoine Griezmann in pole position to win the award.

"I would put Antoine Griezmann in pole position in terms of the three Frenchmen, for all he has achieved this year" he told France Football.

#2 Carlo Ancelloti backs his former player to win the award this year

Ancelotti won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014
Ancelotti won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014

Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti made it clear who he thinks should win the Ballon d'Or this year when he spoke to the media before Napoli's big game against Juventus in Serie A last month.

Ahead of his meeting with his former player Cristiano Ronaldo, he said that the all-time leading goal-scorer in the Champions League is always the front-runner in the Ballon d'Or race, and could win the award for a record sixth time this year.

"I am grateful to Ronaldo, regardless of the goals he scored to win the Champions League" Ancelotti said.
"I am happy that he plays in Italy now, he is an added value to every team, I think he should always win the Ballon d'Or"

#3 Buffon says World Cup winner deserves to win the Ballon d'Or

Buffon plays for Paris Saint-Germain
Buffon plays for Paris Saint-Germain

The Italian legend, Gianluigi Buffon has snubbed favorites Ronaldo and Messi to reveal the player he believes is deserving of the golden trophy this year.

Buffon, a World Cup winner himself, thinks that 2018 World Cup winner, and his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe's performances on the pitch make him one of the favorites this time around.

Speaking to French TV show Tout Le Sport, he said,

“In Italy they compare him to Baggio, Totti, and Del Piero, but he has talent and technical quality that I’ve rarely seen in my career."
“For his qualities, what he does on the pitch and how decisive he was at the World Cup, he deserves it [the Ballon d’Or]. I can’t say the opposite.”

#4 Gary Lineker subtly tweets about his favorite player to win the Ballon d'Or

Lineker is a well known sports pundit
Lineker is a well known sports pundit

Gary Lineker is one of the many high profile fans of the Barcelona legend Lionel Messi, and he picked him as the foremost contender for this year's Ballon d'Or. Just take a look at his twitter feed and you'll know what I'm talking about.

He was full of praise for the Argentinian maestro, before injury forced him out of the game in Barcelona's LaLiga fixture against Sevilla, last weekend. He expressed his bafflement at how anyone other than Messi could win the Ballon d'Or, in his tweets on Saturday.

#5 Eden Hazard fancies Real Madrid star to win Ballon d'Or

Hazard is on the 30-man shortlist as well
Hazard is on the 30-man shortlist as well

The Premier League Player of the Month for September, Eden Hazard doesn't believe that either of the Ronaldo/Messi duo is going to win the Ballon d'Or this year.

The Belgian predicts that Croatian midfielder, Luka Modric has the best chance to claim the trophy, while humbly accepting that his chances to come out on top are slim, Express reported.

"I don't think I'm going to win it,” Hazard said. “In my opinion, Modric deserves it.
"There are three to four players. I could say [Madrid and France defender Raphael] Varane because he won a lot too.
“I could deserve it too, lets not lie.
"But seriously, I think that Modric will win it.
“It is going to be a reward for his wonderful season in the Champions League and the final of the World Cup"

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Edited by Anthony Akatugba Jr.
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