5 Players who can break the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d'Or duopoly in the near future
Despite the duo showing no signs of slowing down, there are a few footballers who want to break out of the Messi-Ronaldo shadow
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have shared the Ballon d’Or since 2008After helping his side A.C. Milan to Champions League glory in 2007, Brazilian midfielder Kaka was adjudged the Ballon d’Or (French for “Golden Ball”) winner for the year. Few would have guessed at that time that it would be the last time for a while that the prestigious award was won by a player other than the two players who finished runners-up to Kaka in 2007 – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.Since 2007, the two players have raised their respective games to another level and dominated football, wowed millions worldwide and have rightly won many laurels. The Ballon d’Or award for 2015 was won by Messi for a record fifth time, while Ronaldo has won the award thrice and often talks about his aim to win the trophy again.Aged 28 and 30 respectively, Messi and Ronaldo are at the peak of their careers and will be expected to continue their golden runs of form and achieve more glory in coming years. However as is often seen in the history of sport, new challengers will rise and challenge the two players who have split the award between themselves for 8 years.We look at some players who may go on to break the duopoly of Messi and Ronaldo over the Ballon d’Or award in the near future:
#6 Honourable mentions
Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich/Germany)
The 26-year-old German forward has excelled for the national team and Bayern Munich and has often slipped under the radar with the presence of other star players in the teams, and his efforts tend to be undermined by the fans.
He may not always get the stardom of Messi and Ronaldo, but Müller continues to enjoy success at international and club level, and with his performances he will continue to be considered for the Ballon d’Or award in the future.
Luis Suarez (Barcelona/Uruguay)
If talent and performances on the field were the sole criteria for deciding the Ballon d’Or, Luis Suarez would have given a stronger challenge to Messi and Ronaldo already. But the weight of controversies that he keeps getting involved in continues to diminish his chances of winning the award. However, if Suarez continues his incredible goal-scoring run and manages to stay away from controversies, he will continue to be counted among the contenders for the Ballon d’Or.