FIFA Ballon D’or (Golden Ball) is the greatest individual award a footballer can ever dream to achieve. The Ballon D’or winners in the past were some of the greatest and technically gifted players the world has ever seen for example Ricardo Kaka, Zinadine Ziadne, Ronaldinho, Fabio Cannavaro, Michael Owen etc. FIFA’s list of top 23 player of the world has recently been released. This list consist various modern football greats and since this was the world cup year the completion to clinch this big thing will be even more alluring.

Let us make the list of top five players who deserve to win the Golden Ball and study why they deserve to win it.

According to these are the top 5 contenders for Ballon D’or:

1) Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo was the 2013 Ballon D’or winner because of his inspirational performance for Real Madrid. In 2014 Ronaldo played a very key role in the La Decima saga of the Los Blancos and also won the Spanish cup. Ronaldo is a Left inside forward who gets multiple opportunities to find the back of the net. Till now he has netted 52 goals for both club and country. For Real Madrid he scored 47 goals in 43 appearances and created 15 as well where as for Portugal Ronaldo has racked up 5 goals and 1 assist in 8 appearances. He was the La Liga and champions League top scorer in 2014 and is still the La liga top scorer with 18 goals in just 11 games. He was the savior for Portugal throughout the qualification stages and he single handedly escorted the Portuguese national towards Brazil.

Since this is the World Cup year, performance of players in the world cup will have a great influence on their odds of winning the award. Ronaldo did not have a prodigious world cup as his Portugal was knocked out in the group stages where Ronaldo scored only 1 goal. Taking it all into the account Ronaldo is a serious contender for ballon d’or because of his magnificent performance for real Madrid.

2) Lionel Messi:

Messi has always been the most important player for Barcelona the four times Ballon D’or winner had a very good season with the Catalans as always but unfortunately Barca ended 2014 without winning any silverware. Messi was used in different roles by different managers, under Tata he played as a center forward, a second striker and right winger. Whereas Enrique prefers him in the traditional number ten role, as Barca are currently blessed with the likes of Luis Suarez and Neymar in their attack and Messi is their provider or to be more precise he is the gateway between midfield and attack. Leo always has the vision to score goals and craft assists, in 2014 Messi scored 38 goals and made 19 assist in 58 games where as for Argentina he netted 8 goals and created 2 in with 13 caps. La Albicelestes had a comfortable qualification phase where the whole team contributed and they reached Brazil by finishing on top of the pile. Whereas Leo was Argentina’s most important player in the world cup and the golden ball winner, he scored 4 goals and made 1 assist in 7 games and guided his team towards the finale. Many questions were raised, because many believed Messi did not deserve the World Cup Golden Ball.

Taking every point into consideration Messi is sober contender for the Ballon D’or.

3) Manuel Neuer:

The 28 years old German international goal keeper is the current hot topic in the football world. Some say he is the best goalkeeper the world has ever seen or the world will ever see, some say he is more than a goalkeeper, he is also called as a sweeper keeper, the praises will go on till eternity. He won the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal with Bayern and played a very important role in the triumph.

Manuel Neuer is the man behind every clean sheet of Bayern Munich and Germany, he is always there to compensate the defensive errors by his tackling, dazzling footwork and mesmerizing confidence for example his performance versus Algeria in the world cup round of 16 game where he brilliantly stopped the Algerian attack by his accurate tackling, Neuer is courageous enough to travel till the opposition’s 6 yard box with the ball. Neuer won the Bundesliga and world cup golden glove in 2014. Manuel was Germany’s most important player in the world up and made countless key saves and tackles in order to protect the goal, where Germany finally won the most awaited world cup

He is a dominant contender for the golden ball because of his epic playing style, instincts and confidence.

4) Thomas Muller:

Thomas Muller is a player who is well known for his instincts, will power, hard word and confidence. Muller is a very versatile player who comforts himself in center forward, attacking midfield and number ten role. He has always been a very vital and an influential player for both Bayern and Germany. His presence on the field boasts the confidence of his team mates as he is a true warrior who will be seen all over the pitch tackling the opposition, intercepting passes, creating chances to score goals and scoring goals. In 2014 Muller won Bundesliga and DFB Pokal with Bayern.

Till now in 2014 Muller has scored 15 goals and made 10 assists for Bayern in Bundesliga and Champions league. Whereas for Germany was arguably their most important player in the world cup where he bagged 5 goals and made 3 assist in 7 games and started every game for the team and added FIFA world cup to his list of accomplishments.

He is a big contender for the Ballon D’or as he has shown pure class and determination throughout the year.

5) Arjen Robben:

Robben’s career has been full of ups and downs and this is the best year he has ever had, successful season with Bayern Munich where he won the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal and an impressive world cup with the Oranjes. Robben is known for his pace, skills, stamina, finishing and flair. Robben plays as a right winger and sometimes also as central attacking midfielder for both Bayern and Netherlands.

Robben has netted 11 goals and recorded 8 assists so for in all competitions for Bayern Munich and is a regular starter for the club. Whereas Robben played a huge role in Holland’s world cup where the Dutch finished 3rd. Robben scored 3 goals in 7 world cup games and was nominated for the world cup golden ball and also featured FIFA team of the tournament. Robben is often accused for diving for example Holland’s last minute penalty in the world cup round of 16 match versus Mexico was a result of Robben’s dive. Netherlands eased through the qualification stages of the world where Arjen played a huge role. Robben has always delivered a top notch performance for both Netherlands and Bayern. Hence he is a serious contender for Ballon D’or.