Football fans are anxiously waiting for France Football, the organizers of the Ballon D’Or award, to unveil the shortlist for this year.
However, there has been a lot of discourse as to who and who will be included.
The conversations have generally pointed to the fact that Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi will most likely win it for the seventh.
But Messi is expected to be challenged by Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Chelsea’s duo of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.
But what surprise names could we possibly see?
1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City): The Belgian playmaker is the kingpin of Pep Guardiola’s team that won the Premier League title in May. He has netted 12 goals, 11 assists this year and also lifted the Carabao Cup.
2. Mohammed Salah (Liverpool): The prince of Egypt and the king of Liverpool, but Salah is hardly mentioned as a candidate for the Ballon D’Or. Let’s hope his 26 goals and five assists changes that this year.
3. Harry Kane (Tottenham): In 2021, Kane has scored an astonishing 32 times and provided five assists. Although he is out of sorts this season following England’s defeat in Euro 2020 final and his failed move to Manchester City, he is a top marksman any day.
4. Neymar (PSG): Neymar finished 16th the last time. But he could make an argument for himself with 14 goals, 14 assists. The Brazilian superstar also won the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions.
5. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund): In the year in review, Haaland scored 41 goals and provided 13 assists for the Bundesliga club. The Norwegian prodigy also won the DFB-Pokal.
6. Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain): The Italian stopper is widely regarded as one of the best in the world at the moment. In 2021, he has kept 20 clean sheets and made several fine saves as Italy won Euro 2020.
Ballon D’Or 2021: Six surprise players to make shortlist