Ballon d'Or 2021: Ranking the top 5 favourites - October 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Shambhu Ajith

The Ballon d'Or is set to return this November after a year's absence. It is undoubtedly the most prestigious individual prize in football.

The Ballon d'Or was cancelled last year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We've had almost a year and a half of non-stop footballing action since the Covid break.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the Ballon d'Or in recent times

The Ballon d'Or has staged the Cristiano Ronaldo - Lionel Messi rivalry for more than a decade now. In the last 12 editions of the award, Messi has won it a record six times while Ronaldo is close behind with five. Luka Modric is the only player to have broken their duopoly over the Ballon d'Or.

But this time around, the Ballon d'Or race has been blown wide open and there are plenty of worthy contenders.

Without further ado, let's take a look at five of the favourites to win the Ballon d'Or this term.

#5 N'Golo Kante (France/Chelsea)

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Third Round
Chelsea v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Third Round

Chelsea's war machine N'Golo Kante was chosen as the UEFA Midfielder of the Year. He was arguably the Blues' best player as they won the Champions League last season. Kante turned in mesmerizing performances in the final stages of the continental competition.

The Frenchman is a hard-working defensive midfielder whose main job is to prevent the opposition players from enjoying too much time on the ball. He hounds them relentlessly and disrupts their flow forcing them off their natural game.

Kante is also quite gifted in a technical sense. He is good at progressing the ball and is excellent at link-up play. He didn't have a great outing with France at Euro 2020 as Les Bleus crashed out in the Round of 16 against Switzerland.

France have made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League which is going to take place next week. Kante can further improve his credentials by helping his team to yet another title.

N’Golo Kante is named the Champions League Midfielder of the Season 💥

#4 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Manchester United)

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League
Manchester United v Everton - Premier League

Cristiano Ronaldo had a great September. He overtook Iran's Ali Daei as the men's leading international goalscorer with a brace against the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup Qualifiers.

Ronaldo also bagged a brace in his second Manchester United debut. He also scored a few vital goals for the club including a 95th minute winner against Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League.

Ronaldo won the Golden Boot at Euro 2020 where he scored five goals and provided an assist in four appearances for Portugal. He was also the recipient of the Serie A Golden Boot last term, scoring 29 goals in 33 league appearances.

Ronaldo might struggle to make it to the Ballon d'Or podium this time but there's no doubt that despite being 36-years-old, he has put up a great fight.

Don't mind us, just @Cristiano picking up 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 award ✨Presenting United's Player of the Month for September 🥇#MUFC
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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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