Ballon d'Or 2018: Top 5 leaked award winners
The 2018 Ballon d'Or is finally here, and we are expected to see who wins the most coveted individual prize in football as Paris is set to host the ceremony in the historic Grand Palais tonight.
In the run-up to the gala, several publications have claimed that the top three Ballon d'Or shortlist had been leaked, with each one naming a different trio. The likes of Luka Modric, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann, etc have all been tipped for the award, but this will only be confirmed tonight.
To commemorate the occasion, we have ranked the top five leaked award winners, and the probability of them winning the Ballon d'Or.
#5 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico Madrid and France star, Antoine Griezmann, has been pegged to be one of the favourites for the Ballon d'Or, and was recently tipped by a Spanish radio show to finish in the top three.
Buoyed by his home country's FIFA World Cup win in Russia where he won the Man of the Match award for his goal-scoring exploits in the competition's final game, the forward has made the list of very few players who could actually win the award. The Atletico Madrid forward netted 4 goals and registered 2 assists in the competition.
Griezmann also won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, scoring 2 of his side's 3 goals in the final.
The Frenchman finished third in the race for the award in 2016, and may be set for a better ranking this time around.
#4 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Paris Saint-Germain and World Cup star Kylian Mbappe may have risen through the ranks in recent years, but he still has ways to go before he establishes himself as one of the best in the game.
Like Griezmann, the 19-year-old played a crucial role in France's World Cup winning team in Russia, having scored 4 goals (including one in the finals) to win him the competition's Young Player Award.
His incredible goal in the final even made him the second teenager in history to score in a World Cup final. Only Pele has achieved the same for Brazil in 1958.
However, the fact that his experience is pale in comparison to the rest of the list, it puts him at fourth place.