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Ballon d’Or 2018: Ranking the 5 favourites

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132.83K   //    09 Oct 2018, 01:06 IST

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga

They say that the hand that holds the Ballon d'Or, rules the Football World and there could not be a better explanation of the award. The Ballon d’Or is the ultimate prize in football excellence, awarded to the best player in world football by France Football. It was first introduced in 1956 and was initially presented only to European players. By 1995, the award was extended to players from any country who played their football in Europe. In another change in 2007, Ballon d’Or was expanded to make football players from all around the globe eligible for the award.

The Ballon d’Or has been the stomping ground of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the past decade, with both players winning the trophy 5 times. This time though, there’s a change in the air and for the first time in 10 years, the World has a chance to see a player lift the fabled trophy for the first time. However, whether the fairy tale actually happens can only be confirmed in December, when the trophy is awarded.

France Football and L’Equipe have been revealing the 30-man shortlist throughout the day on Monday and here we take a look at the 5 favourites, among the shortlisted 30, to win the Ballon d’Or 2018.

#5 Kylian Mbappe

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final
France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final

Ballon d’Or 2017 – 7th

The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2018 – 4th

The French youngster signed off a perfect season with 21 goals in 46 appearances for PSG last season, registering 15 assists. With his club, he won the Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue and was awarded the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for the second year running.

Over the summer, he represented France in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and shook the world with his performances, scoring 4 goals in the tournament, as France became World Champions. Mbappe was subsequently awarded the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award and was also a part of the FIFA World Cup Dream Team.

Mbappe has won a lot at a very young age and deserves his place in the 30 man shortlist. However, even though he has also started this season in fantastic form, scoring 10 goals from 7 games in all competitions, one cannot help but feel that the French teenager is one for the future and as such, he is 5th in this list.

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