The Ballon d’Or award is one of the most prestigious individual awards in world football. Recently, France Football magazine released the names of 30 players who had the opportunity to receive this award. The announcement of this award will be held on November 29, 2021 later at the Theater du Chatelet, Paris, France.
Interestingly, there are several names that may not be unexpectedly included in the Ballon d’Or nominations. Guess who are they? Here are 5 players who were unexpectedly included in the 2021 Ballon d’Or nominations.
1. Simon Kjaer – AC Milan
The figure of Simon Kjaer is indeed very important in AC Milan’s defense. His name is also on the rise after his heroic action in dealing with the downfall of Christian Eriksen in the match against Finland in the 2020 European Cup. He also became an important player for Denmark’s success in advancing to the semifinals of the 2020 European Cup.
No wonder his name is included in the nominations for the Ballon d’Or award. Even so, his chances of winning the award are still small as there has not been a significant achievement that he has given for club and country this year.
2. Gerard Moreno – Villareal
Gerard Moreno has indeed been performing with Villareal in the last few seasons. In fact, he became a key figure for Villareal’s success in winning the 2020/2021 Europa League trophy. No wonder he entered the top 30 candidates for the Ballon d’Or award.
Even so, many believe that Gerard Moreno will find it difficult to win the award. Moreno has not been able to speak much at international level with the Spanish national team. In fact, he also has not been able to shift Alvaro Morata as the main striker of La Furia Roja .
3. Nicolo Barella – Inter Milan
Nicolo Barella has indeed impressed with Inter Milan and Italy so far. At the 2020 European Cup, Barella has scored 1 goal and 2 assists from 6 matches he has played. In Serie A this season, Barella also managed to contribute 1 goal and 5 assists from 7 matches.
Status as the champion of European Cup 2020 and Serie A last season, Barella actually has a great opportunity to win the award this time. Even so, it seems Jorginho has a bigger chance than him considering Chelsea won the Champions League last season.
4. Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City
Riyad Mahrez did manage to perform brilliantly last season with Manchester City. He became the hero of Manchester City when they qualified for the Champions League final for the first time in history. Unfortunately, this season he himself has often rotated with Gabriel Jesus along with his inconsistent performances.
Mahrez is one of two players to be nominated for the 2021 Ballon d’Or in addition to Mohamed Salah, who plays for Liverpool. Mahrez’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or are quite small considering his position has begun to be shifted by Gabriel Jesus this season.
5. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City
Raheem Sterling has indeed become a hero for England’s success in the 2020 European Cup final. However, Sterling himself has not been too consistent at club level. He’s even been often substituted by Pep Guardiola so far this season.
This is what makes many people that he will be very difficult to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or award. However, it must be admitted that he remains one of the most dangerous wingers for the opposing defense so far.
Well, those are 5 figures who were unexpectedly included in the 2021 Ballon d’Or nominations. The five players are indeed mostly new names on the Ballon d’Or list when compared to the list of nominations in previous years. Do you think any of the above players will be able to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or award?