The Ballon D'Or, one of football's most coveted awards and is something that every footballer dreams of winning. The golden ball-shaped trophy has well and truly become a hallmark and example of individual success in football and over the years, there have been many names who lifted up the prestigious title presented by France Football, ever since it was started in 1956. In the last decade, the award has been dominated by the duo of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have made it a point to compete with each other for getting their hands on this prestigious trophy. Not that there weren't any exceptions. Luka Modric broke Ronaldo and Messi's dominance of winning the Ballon D'Or in 2018. But then again, Messi reclaimed the award in 2019, winning a record sixth title. Euro 2020 Quarter-finals Schedule: Who Plays Who in Last Eight?
This time, both Messi and Ronaldo are obvious favourites to win the coveted award. But in this article, we shall talk about three other players, who might just walk away with the Ballon D'Or, courtesy their superior performances throughout the season.
1) Robert Lewandowski: The Poland striker was one of Europe's stellar performers this season. He was actually very unfortunate to have missed out on the award last year, which he almost looked certain to win before it was cancelled due to the pandemic. This time too, he has put forward a very strong reason why he deserves to win the prestigious title. He has easily been one of Europe's top players, scoring a total of 46 goals and registering seven assists in all competitions. He also was Poland's star in Euro 2020 where he scored three times in as many matches. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough for them to qualify for the next round.
2) N'Golo Kante: The diminutive Frenchman had a stellar ending to the season, winning the Champions League with his club Chelsea. He was one of the most crucial figures in Thomas Tuchel's line-up, pulling off man-of-the-match performances from the midfield in both legs of the Champions League semi-finals and even the final, where they defeated Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. As a matter of fact, former Manchester United player Louis Saha feels that the French defensive midfielder should be easy pick for the Ballon D'Or awards. He didn't have a good time with the French team as they got knocked out of Euro 2020 by a spirited Switzerland team but he surely deserves to stake a claim for the top prize, based on his individual brilliance last season.
3) Kevin De Bruyne: Premier League Player of the Year, 2020-2021 proves why he was one of the best in England last season. The Belgian star should have to be included in the lost of potential Ballon D'Or winners in 2021 given his superb performance for Manchester City and then for Belgium in the ongoing Euro 2020. The midfielder played a very important role in Guardiola's side winning the Premier League, the Carabao Cup alongside making it to the Champions League final last season but an injury to his face ruled him out of Belgium's opener against in Euro 2020. He returned for the second match, scored a goal against Finland and was injured in their last-16 match against Portugal. The prospect of not featuring anymore in Euro 2020 might be scary for not just Belgium but also for De Bruyne's Ballon D'Or chances.
A special mention has to be made of Romelu Lukaku, who also has had a very impressive season with Inter, leading them to their first Scudetto in over a decade. He scored 24 league goals and provided 11 assists. Lukaku has also been in good form for Belgium this Euro 2020, with three goals in five matches.