Neymar is arguably next in line for the Ballon d’Or award. The Brazilian has everything in his locker to win the biggest individual award. Despite that, Neymar has never gotten the chance to win the award and is still lurking in the shadows of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
He is widely regarded as the player who could break Messi and Ronaldo’s winning streak especially now that both of them are ageing. However, there are other emerging players who might overtake Neymar and break his dream of lifting the much-coveted title. Here are some of the players that Neymar might need to watch out for.
Kevin De Bruyne
KDB is one of the players who will forever keep haunting Chelsea for selling him. He revived his career at Bundesliga after his spell at Chelsea and even won the Bundesliga player of the Year award during the 2014-2015 season. His performance at Wolfsburg caught the attention of Manchester City who gave him a second chance in the EPL by signing him in 2015.
The Belgian has been a revelation since his move to Etihad. He took his game to the next level and arguably been Manchester City’s best player this season. He has assisted 14 goals and scored 7 himself. He will undoubtedly be among the top contenders for the PFA Player of the season award this season.
With KDB showing no signs of stopping, he may well be a Ballon d’Or contender in the upcoming years.
You have to be very special if you are considered to be Messi’s replacement in your National Team. Paulo Dybala is regarded as the future of Argentine football.
Currently playing for Juventus in the Serie A, Dybala has been one of their best players from the past few years. He finished at 15th place in the Ballon D’Or 2017 rankings. Dybala possesses a great left foot and is a natural goal scorer just like Messi. He has played 12 games for Argentina and will be looking forward to representing them in Russia.
With Real Madrid interested in signing him, a chance to play alongside Ronaldo can polish his skills and help him win the Ballon d’Or in the future.
Upon first glance, it is hard to believe that Mbappe is just 19 years of age. Mbappe has achieved great heights at this young age and is considered as one of the biggest talents in football.
The Golden Boy of 2017 made his debut in 2015 at the tender age of 16. He was one of Monaco’s star players during the season they clinched the Ligue 1 title right under PSG’s nose. As Monaco also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in the 2016/2017 season, Kylian Mbappe played a vital role in the team scoring six of their goals in the tournament.
His impressive performance at Monaco made PSG sign him and he has since created a lethal attacking front-three alongside Neymar and Edinson Cavani. Kylian Mbappe has his best years ahead of him and it is safe to predict him winning the Ballon d’Or in the future.
Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the world right now. He has literally been scoring goals for fun in the last few seasons.
Kane has won the PL Golden Boot award for the last two seasons. In fact, he was going shoulder to shoulder with Mohamed Salah for this year’s Golden Boot but his recent injury has seen him fall behind the Egyptian. With Real Madrid linked with a move to sign him, a move to a bigger club could be what he needs to propel him to win the Ballon d’Or.
There is no player who has played as well as Salah has on his debut at Liverpool this season. The Egyptian has scored a total of 36 goals this season.
When he was signed by the reds, Salah was attacked by critics for his Chelsea spell and was called a flop even before playing any game. However, he proved everyone wrong by his exceptional performances. He is now leading the race for the Golden Boot and has more goals in the league than players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Salah has been compared with Lionel Messi and if he continues to perform at the same level, he may compete for the Ballon d’Or award too. He won the African Footballer of the Year award in 2017.