Ballon d'Or 2021 Power Rankings: Mbappe Tightens His Grip At The Top - 9jaflaver

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Ballon d’Or 2021 Power Rankings: Mbappe Tightens His Grip At The Top

The awarding of the prize was cancelled in 2020 and the world’s best players are again making their cases to claim the coveted individual honour

After being cancelled in 2020, the Ballon d’Or is back, with the great and good of the football world again eyeing the biggest individual honour the game has to offer.

Though the prize will not be handed out until December, performances over the coming weeks will go a long way to deciding who will and won’t be in contention to succeed 2019 winner Lionel Messi.

With the European season being dominated by surprise title contenders and delayed international tournaments to come this summer, the chances of there being a new winner are high.

So, by using their performances so far, as well as predictions of what is likely still to come in 2021, who holds the most power in the early stages of this year’s race?

Goal ranks the runners and riders…

#20 Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

Last time: 14th

In 2021: One goal, five assists, 12 clean sheets.

It feels like the Cancelo hype is beginning to die down, and as such the Portugal international’s bid to become a Ballon d’Or-winning full-back looks to be coming to an end.

That is not to say he does not deserve respect for what has been a fine season, but playing in an unfashionable position means he is always facing an uphill battle.

#19 Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Last time: NEW ENTRY

In 2021: Eight goals, two assists.

There will be those who do not understand the buzz around Mount scratching their heads at his inclusion in these rankings, but there are few players doing more to ensure Chelsea remain on track for a potential Champions League final berth.

The England international has taken his game to another level under Thomas Tuchel, and also seems to have played his way into Gareth Southgate’s line-up for this summer’s Euros.

#18 Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Last time: 16th

In 2021: Five goals, 10 assists. Won Club World Cup.

He may have scored in the Champions League and laid on yet another assist in the Bundesliga, but with Bayern facing an uphill task to defend their European crown, Muller’s chances undoubtedly slipped this past week.

Bear in mind that, as it stands, he will not be going to the European Championship, and he is nothing more than an outsider for now.

#17 Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)

Last time: 15th

In 2021: 11 goals, one assist.

Not a great week for Luis Suarez.

First he was ruled out for the best part of a month through injury, and then in his absence Atletico Madrid dropped yet more points as their title bid continues to falter.

It is fair to reflect that, without a La Liga winners’ medal, Suarez’s hopes of individual prizes are pretty much over.

#16 Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Last time: NEW ENTRY

In 2021: Seven goals, six assists.

The boy wonder is beginning to come of age at Manchester City, and his last-minute winner against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday was perhaps the crowning moment of his career thus far.

Finally part of Pep Guardiola’s best XI at the Etihad Stadium, the England international will have a key role to play as City’s quadruple bid really hots up in the next fortnight.

#15 Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

Last time: NEW ENTRY

In 2021: Two goals, eight assists.

The forgotten superstar among a sea of Galacticos at Madrid, Kroos enjoyed a week to remember as he reminded the world just what he is capable of.

His sublime assist for Vinicius Junior got the Blancos rolling against Liverpool in the Champions League, and he backed that up by netting the winner in the Clasico on Saturday.

#14 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Last time: 12th

In 2021: 14 goals.

Two games, two goals for Salah this week, but his hopes rest on Liverpool going deep in the Champions League, and after Tuesday’s loss in Madrid their hopes are hanging by a thread.

If the Egypt star can help lead a comeback at Anfield on Wednesday, then expect him to catapult right back into contention for the big solo prize.

#13 Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Last time: 13th

In 2021: 15 goals, four assists.

Kane’s superb individual numbers and the prospect of him being among the top scorers at the European Championship keep him this high in the rankings despite Tottenham’s disappointing recent form.

Winning the Ballon d’Or is probably beyond him, but he deserves recognition.

#12 Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

Last time: 20th

In 2021: Four goals, three assists. Won Trophee des Champions.

He may not have taken the headlines in Munich on Wednesday, but Neymar was back to something close to his best as PSG took control of their Champions League quarter-final.

The Brazil star provided two assists, including a sublime cross for Marquinhos’ goal, and if the Parisians finish the job at Parc des Princes then the Ballon d’Or may start to come into view once more.

#11 Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Last time: 11th

In 2021: 10 goals, six assists.

Fernandes found the net with a late penalty as United put one foot into the Europa League semi-finals with their win in Granada, meaning he may even get the night off this Thursday for the return leg.

A strong end to the campaign coupled with a trophy will put him in a good position heading into Euro 2020.

#10 Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Last time: 10th

In 2021: One goal, 15 clean sheets.

Dias’ importance to the City defence was illustrated as he sat out Saturday’s shock defeat at the hands of Leeds United, and he remains the front-runner among centre-backs this season.

He may not get as close as Virgil van Dijk did in 2019, but he is certainly in the hunt as the season enters its final stretch.

#9 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

Last time: 8th

In 2021: 17 goals, three assists. Won Supercoppa Italiana.

Away from the bright lights of the Champions League, Juve secured two big wins in Serie A that should make them feel far more comfortable in securing a top-four finish.

That said, Ronaldo continues to cut a frustrated figure at the Allianz Stadium, and surely now cannot wait for the European Championship to really show what he can do on the biggest stage.

#8 Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

Last time: 7th

In 2021: 16 goals, seven assists.

For a player like Haaland, his six-match goalless run for club and country must feel like a lifetime, though he continues to contribute after providing assists in each of Dortmund’s games this week.

The Norwegian rediscovering his goalscoring touch will be key to the German side turning their Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City around on Wednesday.

#7 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Last time: 9th

In 2021: 13 goals, one assist

From nowhere, Madrid will now be believing they can pull off a La Liga/Champions League double this season, with Benzema continuing to light it up in both competitions.

The French striker’s opener got the Blancos going in Saturday’s Clasico win, meaning he has now found the net in each of his last seven league matches.

#6 Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

Last week: 4th

In 2021: 14 goals, five assists.

When Kevin De Bruyne was out of the City team, there was no doubting that Gundogan was the main man.

But with De Bruyne now back, the Germany international is back fighting for supremacy, and his output has dropped a little from its highs of January and February.

He is far from finished when it comes to contention, but a return to form is probably needed before the season is out.

#5 Romelu Lukaku (Inter)

Last time: 5th

In 2021: 14 goals, five assists.

Lukaku was again to the fore in Inter’s midweek win over Sassuolo, scoring one and creating the other for Lautaro Martinez as Inter moved closer to winning the Scudetto.

Antonio Conte’s side have won each of their last 11 Serie A matches, with Lukaku closing in on the competition’s Player of the Year prize.

#4 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Last time: 6th

In 2021: Seven goals, six assists.

His superb individual performance against Dortmund confirmed De Bruyne as being back in the Ballon d’Or race, and there is a real possibility he has five trophies to his name for club and country by the end of the summer.

If he does complete such a haul, surely no one can truly challenge him for individual supremacy, can they?

#3 Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Last time: 3rd

In 2021: 19 goals, eight assists.

If that was Messi’s final Clasico, then the image of him soaked to the skin at Real Madrid’s training ground was certainly a memorable one, if not the triumphant one the Argentine would have wanted.

Barca remain well in the title race despite their defeat, and with a Copa del Rey final to come this Saturday, silverware remains in reach before the season is out.

#2 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Last time: 2nd

In 2021: 25 goals, three assists. Won Club World Cup.

Lewandowski could only watch from the stands as Bayern missed a host of chances against PSG on Wednesday, and he will hope his team-mates are more composed in Paris this week.

It says a lot for how good he has been this year that he is unlikely to fall out of the top two for at least a couple more weeks, despite not even playing as he recovers from injury.

#1 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Last time: 1st

In 2021: 19 goals, three assists. Won Trophee des Champions.

There were those who questioned Mbappe’s place at the top of these rankings after his hat-trick at Camp Nou, but after backing it up with a brace at the Allianz Arena, surely now there is no one who believes the PSG star should not be the Ballon d’Or favourite right now?

It could, of course, all go wrong against Bayern this week, but Mbappe’s performances in the Champions League so far this year mean he remains out in front.

source:- goal

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