Who Will Win The Ballon d'Or?
Who will win the 2013 Ballon d'Or? With the shortlist of candidates announced, today on the blog Amit Singh takes a look at this years Ballon d'Or betting odds.
It is that time of year again. The nominations for the Ballon d'Or are now in and the world is waiting to see who will win the prize of being crowned the best footballer in the world.
The competition has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and most notably Lionel Messi over recent years, but this year it could and possibly should be time for another player to win the award. So who are this year’s Ballon d'Or favourites?
2013 Ballon d'Or Odds - Odds as at 8th November 2013.
|R van Persie||51.00||51.00||67.00||51.00||51.00|
Franck Ribery has yet to make any head way in these international competitions, but last season he was one of the best players in Europe. Ribery's electric form helped his side win the treble, including the coveted Champions League prize that Bayern Munich have been chasing for so long.
Ribery didn't hit the goal hauls of Ronaldo or Messi but he still scored 10 goals domestically and netted once in his twelve Champions League appearances. His contribution though was about far more than just goals, with him creating 1.6 chances per game for his team-mates in the competition. Ribery's defensive contribution on the flank was also excellent as he attempted 1.3 tackles per game and a further 1.4 interceptions per game during the successful Champions League campaign last season, demonstrating how important he was to the side as a whole.
In its current format Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or three times in a row and will be keen to add another one to his already impressive collection of personal and club honours. Messi will be disappointed at what was a less than usually impressive Champions League campaign, having struggled with a niggling injury towards the latter stages of the competition last year. That being said he still scored 46 domestic goals in 32 games and a further eight Champions League goals in 11 games. Messi tailed off towards the end of the campaign which saw his side eliminated from the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey, even if his contribution was huge in helping the side win the domestic title back from rivals Real Madrid.
The problem for Messi is he set the bar for himself so high. Even though he scored an incredible number of goals last season, he wasn't at his sparkling best in the latter stages of the Champions League, which is where it really matters for the Ballon d'Or. As such, he should probably be over looked for a Bayern Munich player, given that they enjoyed a hugely successful season both in Europe and at home.
On a personal note Cristiano Ronaldo was in rampant form last season. Ronaldo scored 34 in 34 in the league as well as 12 in 12 in European competition. That being said, his side did not win any major honours, falling short in the Champions League as well as finishing way off the pace in La Liga.
Without winning a major competition it is difficult to justify Ronaldo winning the Ballon d'Or as his influence and contribution didn't help his side win everything. This is not to say his efforts were in vain, but the fact that Ribery helped his side win major honours means that he is surely a more deserving winner than Ronaldo.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is probably an outside bet for the Ballon d'Or prize. His contribution for Ligue 1 winners Paris St Germain was undoubtedly excellent last season scoring 30 goals in 34 appearances as well as having scored five in ten so far this season. Ibrahimovic was in excellent form and has netted six goals in this year’s Champions League competition and is certainly one of Europe's top players.
This is impressive but his side only reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season and for the clubs primary striker Ibrahimovic's three goals in nine were not amazing. He may have a better chance at winning the 2014 award if he can help PSG make a sizeable impact in this season's tournament though.
Robben only managed 30 appearances for Bayern Munich in all competitions but he still made a huge contribution to their campaign. Not only did he come alive in the Champions League semi-finals versus Barcelona, where he was incredible both going forward and working hard for his team in defence, but he also made the telling contribution in the final with an assist and the winning goal. If ever there was a big game contribution that deserves recognition it was this, especially as Robben had come so close yet so far with Bayern Munich on two occasions prior to this.
Franck Ribery might have made more of an all-round contribution in Bayern's season but Robben really made the contribution that everyone will remember both versus Barcelona (although Ribery was still excellent in the aforementioned ties) but also in the final
There are of course other names in contention, such as Gareth Bale or Bastian Schweinstieger. These players made immense contributions for their clubs but in the case of Bale he did not get his side into the Champions League nor did he show case his skills on the biggest stage. His move to Real Madrid though might improve his future prospects.
Roberto Lewandowski is also a name in the hat but with Dortmund missing out to Bayern both domestically and in Europe. The outsiders are usually that for a reason, because they won't win it and it'll be difficult to look past either Ribery, Robben, Messi or Ronaldo.
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