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Ranking the five favourites to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or

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The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual accolade in football, but who are the favourites to be named football’s finest in 2024?

Lionel Messi claimed the Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time in 2023, in large part thanks to his exploits at the World Cup with Argentina the previous winner. Messi has since moved on to MLS, meaning there’s likely to be a new name etched onto the Golden Ball this time around.

Ranking the five favourites to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or:

Rodri – 8/1

Rodri finished fifth in last year’s Ballon d’Or vote, a comparative snub given the success the Spaniard enjoyed. The midfielder was named the UEFA Nations League Finals Player of the Tournament as Spain were crowned champions, in addition to being the centrepiece of Manchester City’s treble team.

The 27-year-old scored the decisive goal in the Champions League final win over Inter Milan and picked up the competition’s Player of the Season award.

An irreplaceable part of club football’s best team, Rodri has continued to remain integral to the Citizens this season, winning the Golden Ball at the FIFA Club World Cup and extending his unbeaten run to 60 games in all competitions with Pep Guardiola’s side.

The midfield metronome has outlined his desire to win the Ballon d’Or, though has criticised the voting process and favouritism to forward players.

Rodri on the Ballon d’Or: “We all dream of it. It would be an incredible accomplishment. But I also know that legendary midfielders haven’t succeeded. I would love for a defensive midfielder like me to win it, it would mean a lot. For the winner, but also for young players who… pic.twitter.com/wRF0RS3d56

— City Report (@cityreport_) March 12, 2024

Erling Haaland – 5/1

Erling Haaland’s runners-up finish in the Ballon d’Or last term saw some cry robbery, with the Norwegian having had a record-breaking season at Manchester City.

Haaland scored a Premier League single-season record 36 goals in his debut campaign at the Etihad, and 52 in all competitions for the treble-winning Citizens. The 23-year-old’s return was the highest-ever scoring season from a Premier League player, while he also top scored in the Champions League, though missed out to Messi for the Ballon d’Or.

It has been suggested that Haaland has not hit the same heights this season, but a return of 29 goals in 33 appearances outlines his quality. The leading scorer in the Premier League and Champions League once again, a Ballon d’Or looks likely at some stage in his career.

Pick that one out! 🔥🥵@ErlingHaaland 👏 pic.twitter.com/JCnd0KTpUV

— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 9, 2023

Haaland, however, will not compete in this summer’s European Championship after Norway missed out on qualification.

Harry Kane – 4/1

Harry Kane’s record-breaking start at Bayern Munich has moved the forward into contention for the Ballon d’Or, following a blistering run of form in Bavaria.

Kane signed for Bayern Munich from Tottenham in a deal worth up to £100m last summer and has since scored 36 goals in 34 games, becoming the first player to score four hat-tricks in his debut Bundesliga season.

Harry Kane is the first player 𝙀𝙑𝙀𝙍 to score 4⃣ hat-tricks in their first Bundesliga season 🇩🇪🎩🪄 pic.twitter.com/urNQMTGRwA

— LiveScore (@livescore) March 11, 2024

The 30-year-old’s goals have come despite an inconsistent season from Bayern, whose grip on Germany’s top division appears set to end after falling 10 points behind Bayer Leverkusen in the title race.

However, the Champions League and Euro 2024 represent chances for Kane to end his silverware search, on some of the biggest stages in football. He will captain England this summer, with Gareth Southgate’s side set to start the tournament as joint-favourites alongside France.

Kylian Mbappe – 10/3

Kylian Mbappe placed third in the Ballon d’Or last year, with perhaps only the lottery of a World Cup final shootout preventing the Frenchman from claiming the award.

Mbappe’s heroics at the 2022 World Cup had fired France into the final, where he became just the second player to score a hat-trick in the decider, in a remarkable losing effort. The 25-year-old’s decision to remain with Paris Saint-Germain has prevented greater exposure for individual awards, with the club’s modest record in the Champions League an argument against Ballon d’Or votes.

Mbappé with the ball at his feet 😍#UCL pic.twitter.com/SFfjFec10x

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 8, 2024

However, Mbappe is arguably the finest footballer on the planet right now and will have another chance to prove so in French colours this summer. Les Bleus will be strong contenders for success at Euro 2024, with a talented squad spearheaded by their irrepressible captain.

Jude Bellingham – 3/1

Jude Bellingham is the current favourite to win the Ballon d’Or and become just the fifth Englishman to claim the award.

Stanley Matthews, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan and Michael Owen are the previous winners from England, though Bellingham has been backed to join that group. The 20-year-old has made a stunning start to his career at Real Madrid, exceeding all expectations to score 20 goals in 31 appearances.

Strong favourites to secure the La Liga title, Los Blancos have also booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Jude Bellingham has scored or assisted 29 goals in 31 games for Real Madrid, 4 more than any other midfielder in Europes Top 5 Leagues this season:

20 goals
9 assists

Kaka v2.0. pic.twitter.com/2FjjQK3Kmb

— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 6, 2024

Bellingham is also set to form part of the England team expected to challenge at Euro 2024, with his partnership with Harry Kane hoping to bring an end to the nation’s 58-year wait for silverware.

Read – Five players in contention for an England recall

See more – Remembering when a 21-year-old Ronaldo Nazario won the Ballon d’Or

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