French Press Picks Messi, Ronaldo, Jorginho, Lewandowski & Benzema as Potential Ballon d'Or Winners

CC BY 2.0 / Marco Verch / Ballon d'Or Golden "Winner of the Ballon d'Or in 2015" Trophy for FC Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi at Camp Nou Museum in Spains capital
Golden Winner of the Ballon d'Or in 2015 Trophy for FC Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi at Camp Nou Museum in Spains capital - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
The Ballon d'Or is the most prestigious award in the football world. Presented to the sport's best player by FIFA annually, Lionel Messi is the only man to have claimed it six times, while his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo is close on the heels with five.
French outlet L'Equipe has predicted Argentina skipper and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward Lionel Messi, Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, and Real Madrid playmaker Karim Benzema are the five favourites to claim the Ballon d'Or award.

On the other hand, the media outlet has claimed that Messi's good friend and PSG teammate Neymar may not even make it to the top-5 as he will not get enough votes in pursuit of his first Ballon d'Or.

According to the French newspaper, Neymar would struggle to stay with the likes of Messi, CR7, Jorginho, Benzema, and Poland's Lewandowski and would have to compete with the Man City pair of Kevin De Bruyne and Ruben Dias as well as England skipper Harry Kane, who could push him further down in the pecking order for the award.

The five top players graced the cover of the French publication on Monday. But it didn't come as a surprise to any football fan, considering each of them accomplished something special in 2021.
While Messi won his first international trophy with Argentina, ending the South American country's longstanding drought as he lifted the Copa America trophy in July, Jorginho captured the Champions League for Chelsea and Euro 2020 title with Italy.

Moreover, Ronaldo was once again the leading goal scorer for Juventus, making it the third year in a row when the Portuguese maestro ended the season with the most goals in Turin before his sensational return to England.

Further, Benzema and Lewandowski have been the main men for Real and Bayern respectively, with both challenging each other to emerge as the finest centre-forwards in Europe.

While Benzema was the central figure in France's successful UEFA Nations League winning campaign, Lewandowski was the frontrunner last year before the COVID-19 pandemic forced FIFA to axe the event.

After being cancelled in 2020, the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony will be back in Paris at the iconic Theatre du Chatelet on 29 November.
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