The Serie A has not seen a Ballon d’Or winner since 2007 when Kaka won the award with AC Milan. Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo has since come the closest with his second and third place finishes during the 2018 and 2019 editions respectively.
Ronaldo, who has previously won the prize on five occasions with Manchester United and Real Madrid, won’t have the chance of winning it this year after France Football decided to cancel the annual event citing the lack of sufficient fair conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hence, the next ceremony is scheduled for December 2021 and Ronaldo will most likely be in the running for the prestigious award, having finished in the top 3 in 11 of the previous 12 editions. Let’s have a look how the Portuguese could win the prize ahead of other 2021 Ballon d’Or candidates.
How Ronaldo could win the 2021 Ballon d’Or:
The Portuguese turned 35 earlier this year, but he is still one of the most potent attackers in the game. He netted a staggering 450 goals from 438 games for Real Madrid before he made the move to Juventus in the summer of 2018.
He has since registered 73 goals from 95 outings for the Bianconeri and that is quite an impressive feat for the five-time Ballon d’Or, given he has had to adapt to a completely new league after spending nearly a decade with the Spanish champions.
Ronaldo has won the Serie A titles in his two seasons with Italy and the onus will be on him to deliver the Champions League crown for the Turin giants. He was able to do so in three successive seasons with Los Blancos before leaving them, but has not been able to replicate it.
The former Sporting Lisbon graduate will be determined to make a better push for the European title this time around and a run to the semi-final or final with the Bianconeri would enhance his prospects of finishing top of the final voting for next year’s Ballon d’Or.
Elsewhere, the veteran star has the summer European Championships with Portugal to look out for. Fernando Santos’ side were the dark horses during the previous edition of the tournament in 2016 where they went on to win their maiden silverware with a surprise 1-0 win over France in the final.
This time around, they are a completely different outfit with a number of match-winners in the squad other than Ronaldo himself. Still, Ronaldo remains the leader of the attack and a successful defence of the European crown would put him on the frontline for a sixth Ballon d’Or to go level with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com