Football world has completely changed, since, Ronaldo and Messi have risen to the occasion. It would be hard to remember the last time someone else won FIFA Ballon D’or. 2007 was the year in which Kaka won the much coveted award. Since then, it has been either Messi or Ronaldo who have got their hands on the trophy. This has been a show of ruthless domination by the two legends.
FIFA’s association with Ballon D’or came to an end last year. In 2016, FIFA organised BEST awards instead of Ballon D’or. Ballon D’or will still be given to the player, who performs the best according to top European journalists, particularly French journalist. Last year, it was given to Ronaldo in a rather less grand function. On the other hand, FIFA’s Best football awards gala was a grand affair last year. In its inaugural appearance, it was won by Ronaldo. So, now there are two highest awards that can be won by an individual in a year.
Let’s look at 5 players who can win the FIFA best player award in the coming years apart from Messi and Ronaldo:-
The Brazilian International has impressed everyone around the world, for quite some time now. Playing in the shadow of Messi, he has grown into a dangerous player, who can change the course of the match on his own. He is expected to be the successor to Messi’s huge legacy at Barcelona. The flamboyant winger has scored 55 goals till now for his National Team. The way he is playing, he would easily go past Pele’s record of 77 goals for Brazil. Neymar’s goal scoring form has been increasing for the club, since the day he has arrived. He is currently 25, and has already been a finalist to the award. The Catalonian winger is much likely to overtake the legendary duo in the coming years.
#2 Gareth Bale:-
The Welshman single-handedly took Wales to the semi-final of the EURO 2016. It was a widespread belief that, the 27 year old should have been on the podium for the Ballon D’or 2016 awards. He is slowly and steadily living up to his reputation at Bernabeu. He is the perfect long term replacement for the Portuguese International, at Real Madrid. Blessed with great physique and agility (who can forget his run in the final of the Copa Del Rey), he is one of the strong contenders for the award. Although, Ronaldo is showing no signs of stopping, he will definitely overtake the King of Bernabeu in the coming years.
#3 Eden Hazard:-
The 26 year old has taken the Premier League by storm this season, bouncing back from his awful last season. The Belgian international has been showing his class to the world for quite some time now. He is often compared with the likes of Ronaldo and Messi. He has been a star to Chelsea, since joining in 2012. In the most competitive league in the world, he has performed exceedingly well, day in and out. With age being on his side, it would not be surprising if he has his name written on the much coveted award in the years to come.
#4 Paulo Dybala:-
His recent heroics in the Champions League against Barcelona got the whole world stunned. He has produced some magical moments this year for the Old Lady. He is seen as the heir to Messi’s throne in the Argentinean side. He is blessed with great football mind, which is enhanced by agility on the field. The 23 year old has the ability to score anytime in the game and has proved to be a big match player. He has blown apart opponents in the Seria A, with his extraordinary skills. With Dybala yet to reach his prime, he will surely get his hands on the silverware. Sky is the limit for the young sensation.
#5 Antoine Greizmann:-
The Frenchman has been pivotal in the recent rise of Atletico Madrid. He has scored plethora of goals in all the competitions for Atletico. He is currently enjoying a stellar season with the club, scoring goals for fun. His International career has also not been too far away from sensational. He gave a mesmerising performance for France in the Euros 2016. The 26 year old has already established himself as one the best strikers in the current scenario. With 4-5 or more prime years ahead of him, he certainly would have set his eyes on the most prestigious individual award.