Odds & Predictions for Ballon D’Or 2018

Odds & Predictions for Ballon D’Or 2018

The Ballon d’Or is a prestigious award given to footballers with the most consistent good performance in a given year. The question of who will win the Ballon d’Or awards in 2018 is not easy to predict, given that there are many leagues all over the world with good performing players. Nonetheless, European football clubs have exemplary stars after decades of existence and massive investment in players, PR stunts, infrastructure and world-class trainers.

The Significance of the Ballon d’Or

The term is French for the “Golden Ball’. The award dates back to 1956 and has since feted scorers in Paris during the month of December.  Cristiano Ronaldo won in 2017 and it is, therefore, worthwhile to predict that he will be among the next possible winners of this prestigious honor. In predicting who will win the Ballon d’Or, it’s important to bear in mind the odds for each player.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano RonaldoThe 33-year-old star is a legend in every way regarding football. He has won the Ballon d’Or since 2013, with only one interruption in 2015 when Leonel Messi won the hearts of voters. Betting platforms such as Unibet and William Hills have placed odds of 1.25 on his possibility of winning. Others such as Royal Panda and Skybet have given him odds of 9/20 and 2/7, respectively. This is among the lowest on the list of all contenders.

Factors that could determine his win are as follows: First, although his Portugal National Team failed to qualify for the semi-finals in the World Cup, few can forget the excitement and entertainment that he rolled out during the game with Spain. The way he scored on a Free Kick and Corner Kick left many wondering on the tricks that he uses to outsmart the goalkeeper and manipulate the movement of the ball.

Secondly, his club, Juventus, is a legend to behold in Italy’s Serie A. It is an open secret that he is the force behind the team’s success. Therefore, the way he fares in the upcoming season will determine his chances of having another shot at the award. A win could give him a clear lead over Messi and propel him to the status of the most successful player of our time.

The prediction is that he is the most likely player to win, especially if he scores the highest number of goals in Italy and European matches. Allegri believes that he will shine.

2. Leonel Messi

Lionel MessiLionel Messi is a five-time winner of Ballon d’Or. He is the main challenger to Cristiano Ronaldo and has been for a long time. His streak of winnings has constantly been hindered by Ronaldo and he may be making a shot at reaffirming his spot.

The odds for the legendary footballer are varied: Unibet, Skybet, Royal Panda and William Hill have assigned odds of 12/1, 15/1, 15 /1 and 13/1, respectively.  The prediction can turn on the favor of Messi if the following factors are considered.

First,  Messi’s Argentina was kicked out of the World Cup before reaching the semifinals. It was also noted that Messi failed to impress, which was disheartening to his fans. However, the blame has been heaped on the coach for failing to coordinate the team and also, onto the teammates for not doing their parts to pass the ball to Messi. The good news is that his main rival, Ronaldo’s team, was also kicked out before reaching the semifinals. The importance of the national team in the award is that there is a correlation between winners and team excellence.

Second. The Barcelona team is likely to impress in this season, given the signing of new blood such as Malcolm. Additionally, past successes—such as the January 2018 match where Messi saved the team a humiliating defeat from Sevilla in Pizjuan, from a 2-0 loss in the first half to a 2-2 end time score—prove that Messi is vital to the success of the team. And Barcelona’s success means more goals and an almost certain win for Messi.

Further, the Ballon d’ Or award is determined by the team performance. Barcelona is popular and faces weak competition from the rival Real Madrid. Moreover, Messi has talented teammates such as Coutinho, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomez who can pass the ball to him for scoring.  He won the 2017/2018 La Liga title and completed the last season on a high note of 34 goals, which he may repeat this year.

3. Kylian Mbappe

Kylian MbappeThe 19-year-old is a force to reckon with in the Ballon d’Or 2018. The star is already nominated for the FIFA Player of the Year Award along with Mohammed Salah, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The odds for Mbappe are 10/1 for Skybet, 15/1 for Unibet, 15/1 for 888 Sport and 8/1 for Royal Panda. These odds are a testimony that Mbappe is a rising star and may beat the seasoned players.

The factors that work for him are his World Cup performance and the French League performance.

Firstly, his team, the French National Team, won the World Cup and the win is partly attributed to his streak of scores, He even scored a goal against Croatia in the final.

Secondly, Mbappe may shine in the upcoming French League season. With the support of Neymar Jr, he may score goals in the fixtures and win the hearts of the voters. He scored 21 goals last season, assisted in 15 and Paris Saint Germain may be seeing more of his talent. His prospects are however largely dependent on the success of the other popular players especially Luka Modric. Mbappe has even predicted that he will make it to the top list of contenders in the Ballon d’Or 2018 along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, and Raphael Varane.

4. Luka Modric

Luka ModricThe search for who will win the Ballon d’Or in 2018 is complicated by the starling performance of Luka Modric. Skybet places his odds at 4, William Hill 5, Betway 9/2, Unibet 4 along with 888 Sport and Royal Panda. These odds are pretty low, asserting the confidence in the star.

The prediction is on Modric’s side because of two main reasons. Firstly, many World Cup fans believe that Croatia was the best World Cup team in 2018. Modric was at the forefront of scoring goals and in ensuring that the team proceeded to the finals.

Secondly, after the departure of Ronaldo from Real Madrid, Modric’s jersey is the most sought after by the club’s fans. Although his chances of emerging the top scorer in Spain are complicated by the presence of Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga and the Copa del Rey, Modric may still go ahead and steal the show from these long-term rivals. However, the presence of Gareth Bane and Karim Benzema may work in his favor from the passes.

The prediction is that he is second to Cristiano Ronaldo in winning the Ballon d’Or 2018.

5. Antoine Griezmann

Antoine GriezmannHe closes the list of top 5 players of who may win the Ballon d’Or in 2018. The Frenchman is rated as the fourth top scorer in Europe.

According to Skybet, the odds for the Frenchman are 10/1. Betway and Royal Panda have assigned him odds of 10 and 7 respectively.

As is the case with Mbappe, Griezmann has the advantage of France having won the World Cup 2018.  He is also a part of the Spanish Giants Atletico Madrid and has been shortlisted by FIFA as one of the best scorers in the World Cup 2018. However, he faces stiff competition from Ronaldo, Mbappe, and Modric and his chances are very slim.

Conclusion

The odds are always shifting as the performance of each player is analyzed. Popular names such as Neymar, Salah, and Harry Kane are not featuring on the list because of the inconsistency of performance and the fact that their teams failed to reach the finals in the World Cup.

However, names such as Ronaldo and Messi are prominent given the consistency of performance over time despite their teams getting knocked out of the World Cup finals. The Ballon d’Or 2018 is most probably a race between Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi.

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