Thirty candidates out of thousands of professional footballers. These have been the chosen ones and the only ones who choose to win the Ballon d’Or that France Football recovers this year after a suspension due to the pandemic. In this, Lewandowski started as a great favorite after the Bayern triplet in which he shone and scored goals as if it were the simplest of trades. For 2021, the battle is more open and as always there is a list, there are forgotten.
Azpilicueta, Barella, Benzema, Bonucci, De Bruyne, Chiellini, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Dias, Donnarumma, Bruno Fernandes, Foden, Haaland, Jorginho, Kane, Kanté, Kjaer, Lewandowski, Lukaku, Mahrez, Lautaro Martínez, Kylian Mbappé, Messi Modric, Gerard Moreno,
Mason Mount, Neymar, Pedri, Salah, Sterling and Luis Suárez have been chosen and the only ones who are opting for the award, but other players by level and season could have entered this list.
The ‘forgotten’ list
With the cut in thirty, ehe Ballon d’Or will be left without the option of awarding the award to several outstanding footballers throughout this year. Of the runner-up in Europe there is a name that stands out greatly outside of this list: Ilkay Gundogan. The German nailed more than 17 goals and was uncovered as the umpteenth offensive trick of Pep Guardiola. This was key to the achievement of the Premier League, won again with authority, although it could not avoid the defeat in the Champions League against Chelsea.
Another of the great forgotten is Joshua Kimmich. Just like ‘Gundo’, a German midfielder and probably the best in his country and worldwide. Orchestra conductor, versatile and handling the pass at all distances. One of the most prominent absences.
From Spain, Marcos Llorente seems the most remarkable absence. The Atlético de Madrid midfielder was key in Diego Pablo Simeone’s scheme for the rojiblancos to get the league title. In the Eurocup, he showed versatility adjusting to what Luis Enrique asked him as a winger. One of the best in the league champion.
Two stars could also enter from France. Griezmann, who came to be third, although he is far from his best level shown at Atlético. His also French companion Paul Pogba, who had one of his best years at United with his partnership with Bruno Fernandes, which does make the list. An injury complicated a significant part of the season between February and March.
From Italy, Chiesa and Verratti were champions, but their club season was not so brilliant. Two that if they had it from Milan and Birmingham were Achraf Hakimi and Grealish. His good years were worth multi-million dollar transfers to two European giants, PSG and Manchester City.
From there, Alisson or Bernardo Silva were left out, as well as Liverpool’s bad year and the injury weighed on the Reds’ best option, Virgil Van Dijk. Everyone will have to wait one more season.
France ‘misses’ Hazard
Both in RMC and L’Equipe, among the many absences, Eden Hazard stands out. After shining with Chelsea for several seasons, injuries are weighing on the Belgian in his time at Real Madrid, where he has not been able to maintain the excellent level that got him on these lists for years.