Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way for the Ballon d’Or 2014, while Neuer and Messi have been ranked second and third place respectively.
FIFA recently released the final three candidates for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for 2014. Spanish gambling news reports that the usual two nominees have found themselves on the list (Ronaldo and Messi), however now a new player has managed to assert himself enough throughout the year to be granted the right for FIFA to feature his name on the final list of candidates.
Germany’s imposing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been outstanding this entire year with his most impressive performances coming from the World Cup in Brazil. These three men are all phenomenal players, however there are quite big differences in opinion within the football industry on who really deserves the coveted accolade. Here we will examine which one of the three has realistic chances of clinching the award.
Cristiano Ronaldo remains the firm favorite
Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished his biggest dream last season – to win the Champions League with his beloved Real Madrid. He has been at the club since 2009, so it took him and the team a total of five years to clinch the biggest prize in Europe. It is not unusual for the best players to be awarded with the Ballon d’Or after winning the Champions League, so this important fact greatly works in Ronaldo’s favor.
Perhaps the only element that could prevent him from claiming the award would be the fact that he didn’t manage to accomplish much with the national side during the World Cup in Brazil. His wasn’t convincing enough and couldn’t find a way to lead the Portuguese national team to glory, something that may still be in the back of the judges’ minds when they will be asked to vote on the players.
However since the start of the new season (2014-15), the Portuguese winger has been firing on all cylinders across various competitions. He was so far managed to notch a staggering 26 goals overall (20 goals in La Liga alone) and lead Real Madrid to the first spot on the table. Thanks to his scintillating performances this season, many online sportsbooks in Spain have earmarked him to scoop the Ballon d’Or for a third time, 1.16 (2/13) per Unibet.
Messi’s chances to sealing his fifth award are rather slim
Messi is the only player in history to have won four Ballon d’Or awards, from 2009-2012. However, in recent times his arch rival Ronaldo has left him in the shadows with both goals and trophies, having won the 2015 Champions League. The Argentine experienced a rough time last season as he only scored 41, something that is quite low for a player that once scored 73 goals across all competitions in 2011-2012 season.
• A goalie reaching the final three list is quite uncommon
• Ronaldo remains the favorite for the coveted award
• Messi has been given outsider odds 8.00 (7/1) by being third in the rankings
When the World Cup in Brazil came around he seemed to have been reinvigorated and ready to lead his team to the ultimate glory. During the tournament he notched 4 goals and proceeded to go straight to the final. Despite making significant contributions to the national side over the month long competition, he couldn’t replicate the same performances against Germany in the final as Argentina eventually lost 1-0 by a late Gotze strike.
Unibet has assigned odds of 8.00 (7/1) for the Barcelona forward, which essentially ranks him third in the standings. Messi would have greater Ballon d’Or betting odds had he managed to win the World Cup, but his luck ran out once the South Americans reached the final. With a world title he would be lining up alongside Ronaldo as a serious contender for the prestigious award, however now he has to settle for being the second choice behind the Portuguese winger.
Neuer retains high hopes of clinching the award
The German first choice goalkeeper has performed spectacularly for both club and country lasts season. He helped his club Bayern Munich retain the Bundesliga title but more importantly he was one of the main heroes of the German national team at the World Cup. He showcased impeccable form and resilience throughout the grueling campaign which has granted him the coveted Golden Glove award, a prize that many goalkeepers strive for.
Under German gambling laws, Unibet offers odds of 6.00 (5/1) for Neuer to seal the Ballon d’Or. This in fact places him above Messi, a fact that is truly remarkable as the Argentine hasn’t experience a low like this one in a while. One of the main reasons why the imposing goalie has reached such a high level with sportbooks can be attributed to his World Cup success.
Although Ronaldo is primed to win his third overall Ballon d’Or award, the German actually has some realistic chances. Many football experts believe that he should receive the award for him immense contribution and achievements. If Neuer manages to scoop the award he would become the first goalkeeper in history to be crowned the best player in the sport.