Top 5 contenders for the 2018 Ballon d'Or award excluding Messi and Ronaldo
The Ballon d'Or is the most decorated individual award in football. Highly coveted and truly rewarding, the award is handed to the player with the most impressive performances and achievements on the planet annually.
Argentine superstar, Lionel Messi and his Portuguese rival, Cristiano Ronaldo have been the most dominant figures in the Ballon d'Or in the last decade, each winning it 5 times. This incredible duo has dominated the award so much that it is very difficult to ignore them when ranking the contenders for the prestigious prize every year. And they have emerged as candidates to claim the 2018 edition as well.
But, as suggested by the recent developments in the sport, these amazing superstars could end up losing their stranglehold on the award this term. In fact, for the first time in the past few years, the Ballon d'Or race has become wide open, with several superstars emerging as strong contenders to claim the prestigious prize.
With their amazing performances and achievements, these players have shown that they are worthy aspirants to be named the best footballer in the world. Therefore, let us take a look at the top 5 contenders for the Ballon d'Or award, excluding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo from our list.
Honorable Mentions: Harry Kane, Neymar Junior, Eden Hazard, Philippe Coutinho, Kevin De Bruyne
#5 Mohamed Salah
Liverpool winger, Mohamed Salah, was the biggest revelation during last year's campaign. The attacker departed Roma for Liverpool in the summer of 2017, quickly establishing himself at Anfield and producing a lot of incredible performances that took Europe by storm.
He was one of the most impressive superstars in the Premier League last term, bagging 32 goals and 11 assists in the English top flight. He also had a decent European campaign, recording 10 goals and 5 assists to his name in the UEFA Champions League as well as leading The Reds to the final of the tournament for the first time in 11 years.
After 28 years of absence in the World Cup, Salah also helped Egypt to qualify for the prestigious tournament and recorded an incredible goal to his name while representing the Africans in Russia. In a bid to recognize his incredible performances, the attacker was awarded both the Premier League Golden Shoe and the PFA Player Of The Year award, and he also stands as a strong contestant for the Ballon d'Or as well.
All stats via transfermarkt.co.uk