Ronaldo & Messi not in Ballon d’Or top three?

I heard a rumour this week that both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi might not be shortlisted in the top three of this season’s Ballon d’Or? Could this be true? I wouldn’t be surprised, but does that really mean there have been better players across the globe in the past year?

Bookies Favour Modric

The betting odds are often a very useful guide to who is likely to win awards like this. At the moment, if you take a look at the top football betting sites, they all have Modric as the favourite, followed by Ronaldo and then Messi. The odds on the betting exchanges are broadly in line as well.

So if the bookmakers and exchange users have got it right, we will see a new winner of the world’s best player this year.

Who Will Win And Why?

Well, we should know very soon. The pair of course still made the 30-man shortlist which is listed below, and I imagine they will continue to make the list until their careers finally coming to an end, such is their ability to dominate the world stage. Not making the top three though could be a big statement and show that other players are now starting to dominate the game more than them. If it does happen, then it will be the first time in ten years that that neither have finished in any other the three top spots.

What are the reasons that they might not make it, Messi still scored forty plus goals hasn’t it? As well as helping his Barcelona side to win La Liga once again last season. Ronaldo scored a similar amount to Messi and even though Real Madrid had a terrible league season, they still went on to win the Champions League with his help before his move to Juventus.

The significance difference this year, is that France won the World Cup and because Croatia were the beaten finalist. That is why there the possible rumours of the top three could consist of Ronaldo’s team mates Modric and Varane, with the young superstar Mbappe in there as well.

The List

2018 Ballon d’Or nominees

Sergio Aguero, Forward, Argentina, Manchester City
Alisson, Goalkeeper, Brazil, Liverpool
Gareth Bale, Forward, Wales, Real Madrid
Karim Benzema, Forward, France, Real Madrid
Kevin de Bruyne, Midfielder, Belgium, Manchester City
Edinson Cavani, Forward, Uruguay, Paris St-Germain
Thibaut Courtois. Goalkeeper. Belgium, Real Madrid
Roberto Firmino, Forward, Brazil, Liverpool
Diego Godin, Defender, Uruguay, Atletico Madrid
Antoine Griezmann, Forward France, Atletico Madrid
Eden Hazard, Forward, Belgium, Chelsea
Isco, Midfielder, Spain, Real Madrid
Harry Kane, Forward, England, Tottenham
N’Golo Kante, Midfielder, France, Chelsea
Hugo Lloris, Goalkeeper, France, Tottenham
Mario Mandzukic, Forward, Croatia, Juventus
Sadio Mane, Forward, Senegal, Liverpool
Marcelo, Defender, Brazil, Real Madrid
Kylian Mbappe, Forward, France, Paris St-Germain
Lionel Messi, Forward, Argentina, Barcelona
Luka Modric, Midfielder, Croatia, Real Madrid
Neymar, Forward, Brazil, Paris St-Germain
Jan Oblak, Goalkeeper, Slovenia, Atletico Madrid
Paul Pogba, Midfielder, France, Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo, Forward, Portugal, Juventus
Ivan Rakitic, Midfielder, Croatia, Barcelona
Sergio Ramos, Defender, Spain, Real Madrid
Mohamed Salah, Midfielder, Egypt, Liverpool
Luis Suarez, Forward, Uruguay, Barcelona
Raphael Varane, Defender, France, Real Madrid

The French duo of Varane and Mbappe may well miss out on the ultimate prize though even though they actually won the World Cup, with the outstanding Golden Ball winner Modric as my favourite to lift the award. He may not have lifted the World Cup for Croatia, but apart from that he had an exceptional World Cup and was their leader and without him they would not have gone as far as they would have.

I’d love for Varane to win it, but I cannot see it ahead of Modric and surely Mbappe’s time will come to lift the individual honour in the future if he continues to get better and better. Notable mention for Griezmann as well, he was brilliant in the World Cup, but may just miss out on a top three spot when all is revealed on 3rd December in the 53rd annual award ceremony.