With both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo edging nearer to retirement each year, the Ballon d'Or will finally be up for grabs for players around the world looking to follow in the footsteps of the two greats. And this could see a new winner each year with several players performing at Ballon d'Or worthy level and the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Erling Haaland all potentially competing for the award in the near future. Adding to this, we may see a new Messi vs Ronaldo like rivalry for the award with Mbappe and Neymar in particular, likely to be competing for the award together once Messi and Ronaldo retire. With that being said, here are 5 players that will win the Ballon d'Or in the next 10 years.
Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk has conceded 1 goal in his last 10 Liverpool games.
After finishing second in last year's Ballon d'Or rankings, Virgil van Dijk will be hoping to go one step further and win the award sooner rather than later which will see the Dutchman become only the 4th defender to win the prestigious award. What's more, van Dijk may not have to wait long to win the award with the 2020 Ballon d'Or well within his reach after another successful season which will definitely end with a Premier League trophy. In fact, van Dijk is still in with a chance of completing the treble with Liverpool this season after progressing in the FA Cup and Champions League round of 16. And if the defender was to win all three of the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League, he would be one of the favourites for the 2020 Ballon d'Or alongside some of his teammates.
The Dutchman will be looking to become the first Liverpool player since Michael Owen to win the award.
#Note: All statistics as of February 8, 2020
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne has been involved in 22 Premier League goals for Manchester City this season.
With 15 assists already to his name this season, Kevin De Bruyne is looking increasingly likely to break Thierry Henry's record of 20 assists in a single season, a record that hasn't been broken for 17 years. And this could see De Bruyne deservedly be named the assist king and simultaneously rise up the Ballon d'Or rankings, potentially becoming the first Belgian to win the award. However, De Bruyne may have to win the Champions League before being considered for the award in a City side that has never reached the finals of the competition. This could see De Bruyne snubbed for the award for many years to come despite becoming the assist king of the Premier League.
Although, it has to be said that if De Bruyne was to win the Champions League as well as further improve, we could well see the midfielder follow in the footsteps of previous winners such as Luka Modric to win the sacred award within the next 10 years.
Erling Haaland has scored 8 goals in 6 Champions League games this season.
With 8 goals in 4 games since joining Borussia Dortmund in January, Erling Haaland is on course to become one of the best goalscorers around. And this could see the forward go onto become a Ballon d'Or winner within the next 10 years, competing with the likes of Kylian Mbappe for the award. Moreover, the Norwegian forward has outscored both Messi and Ronaldo this season with an incredible tally of 36 goals in 26 games, a number even Robert Lewandowski has failed to beat this season.
Haaland is still only 19 years of age and therefore has a whole career ahead of him. What's more, the Norwegian is still yet to reach his peak which makes people wonder if he can score 36 goals a season at 19, how many will the Dortmund man be netting by the time he's 25?
With this is mind, Haaland will likely be one of many players to win the Ballon d'Or within the next 10 years and may even go onto win it more than once.
Neymar has contributed to 25 goals in 18 games this season for PSG.
After spending the majority of last season on the sidelines, Neymar has returned from injury with a bang, scoring 15 goals and assisting 10 in just 18 appearances this campaign to put him back in the Ballon d'Or conversation. The PSG man could go onto win the Champions League for the second time in his career this season with a PSG side that is full of attacking talent. And a Champions League win would put Neymar and some of his PSG teammates in contention for the Ballon d'Or award.
However, one thing that stands between Neymar and the famous golden ball is the league that he plays in with many naming Ligue 1 as the easiest league in the world after years of PSG dominance. This could see Neymar move back to Spain and potentially back to Barcelona. The aim will be simple - win trophies alongside an aging but still sharp Lionel Messi, and finally win the coveted Ballon d'Or.
Mbappe has been directly involved in 35 goals in 26 games this season.
With 22 goals and 13 assists this season, Kylian Mbappe is once again on course to compete for the Ballon d'Or award. And this may finally be the year he wins it with a Champions League and Euro 2020 win still possible for the Frenchman. What's more, at the age of just 21, Mbappe still has a long career ahead of him which may well see him break or match Lionel Messi's record of 6 Ballon d'Or wins. With a World Cup medal to his name, Mbappe has already achieved something that both Messi and Ronaldo have failed to do in their illustrious careers by winning the World Cup.
Mbappe has time and speed on his side and plenty of talent to boot. He will be in the fight for teh golden orb very soon.
To conclude, many players will be hoping to win the Ballon d'Or within the next 10 years with these 5 players in particular looking increasingly likely to pick up the famous award at least once.
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