Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku finish just outside the Ballon d’Or top 10 as the rankings are whittled down… leaving Lionel Messi, Mo Salah and Robert Lewandowski to scrap it out for the prestigious award
- Follow our live coverage of the Ballon d’Or ahead of the winner being announced
- France Football revealed their rankings for the award all the way up to 11th place
- Romelu Lukaku and Erling Haaland finished 11th and 12th respectively
- The likes of Neymar and Raheem Sterling also missed out on a spot in the top ten
- Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski and PSG’s Lionel Messi are favourites
- But Mohamed Salah, Jorginho and Karim Benzema are also all in with a shout
Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku finished just outside the top 10 in Football France’s overall rankings for the Ballon d’Or, with the strikers coming 11th and 12th respectively ahead of the winner being crowned later this evening.
The world’s best player for 2021 is due to be announced at around 8pm GMT tonight at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris as the highly-coveted award makes its return following the cancellation of the 2020 edition.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi are the two favourites for the award but the likes of Mohamed Salah, Jorginho and Karim Benzema are also in with a shout.
Erling Haaland (left) and Romelu Lukaku (right) finished just outside the Ballon d’Or top 10
The top ten will be revealed at Monday night’s ceremony, including the winner of the prize
France Football – who run the annual presitigious awards – had been drip-feeding the overall rankings one by one to fans on social media, starting with 30th place and ending with 11th before the ceremony got underway.
Haaland and Lukaku were both lethal last season – the Dortmund man scoring 41 times in 41 games – while the Belgian, now at Chelsea, netted more than 30 goals for Inter Milan.
They finished just ahead of Euro 2020 winning Italian duo Giorgio Chiellini, who came 13th, and national team captain Leonardo Bonucci, who was in 14th. Their solid defensive displays for Italy to secure the European Championships saw them beat attacking trio Luis Suarez (17) Neymar (16) and Man City’s Raheem Sterling (15).
Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling (15th) and Riyad Mahrez (20) made the shortlist after winning the Premier League and reaching the Champions League final
Tottenham and England star Harry Kane came 23rd in the rankings despite being the Premier League’s top scorer and assister last season
There were a handful of Premier League representatives elsewhere in the rankings. Chelsea’s Mason Mount finished in 19th after winning the Champions League, above City’s Riyad Mahrez (20) and United’s Bruno Fernandes (21) – who finished level with Inter’s Lautaro Martinez.
Tottenham striker and England captain Harry Kane had a year to remember by finishing as the Premier League’s top scorer and top assister, and went one further by firing the Three Lions to the Euro 2020 final, netting four along the way.
But his endeavours were only enough for 23rd place, helping him finish just above Barca starlet Pedri (24) and Champions League finalist Phil Foden (25).
Lionel Messi (left) and Robert Lewandowski (right) are the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or
Rounding off the top 30 were Gerrard Moreno, Ruben Dias and Nicholo Barella (joint 26th) and Luka Modric and Cesar Azpilicueta (joint 29th).
All attention now switches to the final ten – with Messi being the favourite to win.
Despite largely failing to impress at PSG this season, Messi finally ended his search for glory on the international scene, helping Argentina to win the Copa America in the summer.
Before leaving the Nou Camp, Messi also guided Barcelona to Copa del Rey glory before moving to the French capital on a free transfer in August.
But he faces stiff competition from Lewandowski, who has maintained the sublime goal-scoring form that made him favourite for the prize 12 months ago before it was scrapped.
The Polish striker has scored 73 goals in 60 appearances for Bayern since the start of the 2020-21 campaign, and was rewarded for his fine form by winning the FIFA and UEFA men’s player of the year awards in 2020.
More to follow.
BALLON D’OR RANKINGS 2021
= 29: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
= 29: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
= 26: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
= 26: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
= 26: Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
25: Phil Foden (Manchester City)
24: Pedri (Barcelona)
23: Harry Kane (Tottenham
= 21: Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
= 21: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
20: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
19: Mason Mount (Chelsea)
18: Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)
17: Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
16: Neymar (PSG)
15: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
14: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
13: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
12: Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan and Chelsea)
11: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)