Haaland, Bellingham, Vinicius, Mbappe: Who Will Win The 2024 Ballon D’or?

Erling Haaland celebrating his first City goal against Bayern Munich [Photo Credit:Getty Images]


A changing of the guard is about to take place at the summit of men’s football.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have held a stranglehold on the coveted Ballon d’Or trophy for the vast majority of the past 15 years, are set to play in Saudi Arabia and the USA respectively next season.

Karim Benzema, winner of the world’s best player award in 2022, has followed in Ronaldo’s footsteps by moving to Saudi Arabia, while the only other winner in that period – 37-year-old Luka Modric – is reaching the end of his illustrious career despite reportedly agreeing to stay at Real Madrid next season.

Messi is widely expected to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or after guiding Argentina to a first World Cup crown since 1986 last winter, but who will pick up the mantle in 2024? BBC Sport takes a look…

One of the top performers at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, Bellingham became the third-most expensive teenager in history – and the second-most expensive English player of all time – when he joined Real Madrid for an initial 103m euros (£88.5).

He was unable to guide the Bundesliga club to a first league title in 11 years but excelled in his final season in Germany, making history in October last year when he was made the club’s youngest captain at just 19 years of age.

The first player to win the Premier League player and young player of the year awards in the same season, the prolific Norwegian is perhaps the most obvious heir apparent to Ronaldo, Messi and co.

Haaland sent records tumbling in his debut campaign in England’s top flight, his 36-goal tally breaking the previous best mark shared by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole (34) for nearly three decades.

In the aftermath of Madrid’s demolition of Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League back in March, head coach Carlo Ancelotti called Vinicius the “most decisive player anywhere in the world – the one who determines matches most on a consistent basis”.

The Brazilian, who terrorised the Manchester City defence with his pace and trickery in the 2021-22 semi-finals before scoring the winner in the final against Liverpool, had 23 goals and 21 assists in all competitions in 22-23 – the third most across Europe’s top-flight leagues behind Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.

The prolific Frenchman has scored 212 goals and contributed 98 assists in 260 games since joining Paris St-Germain from Monaco in 2017, contributing to 13 domestic trophies with the Qatari-owned club.

An integral part of France’s World Cup triumph in 2018, Mbappe has also registered 38 goals in 88 appearances for Les Blues, placing him fifth in their all-time scorer’s list – and a mere 15 goals behind current record holder Olivier Giroud. [BBC]


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