On January 12th, the 2014 Ballon D’OR will be announced at Zurich for the best footballers and the coaches.
Here are the main contenders for the prestigious award.
Cristiano Ronaldo has already won it twice and he leads the chart to win this year also. The portugese has been in sublime form last year with already 26 La Liga and 5 Champions League goals (Group stages of 2014/15 season). Ronaldo helped Real Madrid to win thier 10th ‘Champions league” title last year when he set the record by scoring 17 goals. The form that he is in right now , he may score around 60 league goals as described by few experts. The only thing that can go against him is the 2014 World cup, where he was only able to score one goal with Portugal exiting in the first round of the tournament.
Lionel Messi had almost a perfect World cup, other than losing to Germany in the final. Messi scored 4 goals in the first round and also won the golden ball. He is the all time leading scorer in La Liga and the Champions League. However Messi along with Barcelona were not able to win anything last year. Till now Messi had scored 27 goals for Barcelona in all competitions for 2014-15 season. Speculations of Messi leaving Barcelona had been on every news paper of late, as his realtionship with manger Luis Enrique had been under scrutiny.
Manuel Neuer could be a dark horse in the race as he was an integral part of the german World Cup winning team last year. He is the first goalkeeper in years to make it to the top three. He also won the German Cup and the Bundesliga last year with Bayern Munich. Conceding only 3 goals in 13 games this season for Bayern ,shows the efficiency of the man . Traditionaly its the’ Strikers” who have won majorly in the Ballon d ‘Or, but could this be the year when a keeper walk with the prestigious trophy? Argentine Legend Diego Maradona had supported Neuer over Messi and Ronaldo.
Diego Simeone, Joachim Low and Carlo Ancelotti are the top 3 contenders to win as the best coach for last year.
The complete list of the 23 contenders for Ballon d’or 2014.
Gareth Bale, Wales, Real Madrid
Karim Benzema, France, Real Madrid
Diego Costa, Spain, Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois, Belgium, Chelsea
Angel Di Maria, Argentina, Manchester United
Mario Gotze, Germany, Bayern Munich
Eden Hazard, Belgium, Chelsea
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain
Andres Iniesta, Spain, Barcelona
Toni Kroos, Germany, Real Madrid
Philipp Lahm, Germany, Bayern Munich
Javier Mascherano, Argentina, Barcelona
Lionel Messi, Argentina, Barcelona
Thomas Muller, Germany, Bayern Munich
Manuel Neuer, Germany, Bayern Munich
Neymar, Brazil, Barcelona
Paul Pogba, France, Juventus
Sergio Ramos, Spain, Real Madrid
Arjen Robben, Netherlands, Bayern Munich
James Rodriguez, Colombia, Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Real Madrid
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany, Bayern Munich
Yaya Toure, Ivory Coast, Manchester City