The outbreak of coronavirus will profoundly impact the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2020 awards. How can you choose the best player in the world, when no-one is playing?
All we’ve got to go on is what’s happened so far. In this article, we’re looking at the current candidates, what they’ve done in 2020, and what they need to do when football resumes to get their hands on the award.
Candidates for the Ballon d’Or 2020
Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
Games: 13 | Goals: 9 | Assists: 6
Once again the Argentine has been Barcelona’s main man, often saving La Blaugrana from disappointing results and hence keeping them in the hunt for The La Liga title. In 2020 Messi has directly contributed to 18 points of Barcelona’s season total of 58 . If the season is to resume Messi will stand a very strong chance of winning his seventh Ballon d’Or especially if his stats say on the ridiculous trajectory that they are currently on. Always considered as one of the favourites in Europe, if Messi stays on form and helps them to win their sixth UEFA Champions League title, then the Balon d’Or will surely be his.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
Games: 8 | Goals: 9 | Assists: 3
Bayern’s main talisman in the 2019/2020 season has scored 39 goals across all competitions which he has only bettered on four occasions during a full season. Lewandowski is the spearhead of the Bayern’s attack scoring 35% of their goals in 2020. The forward has not just contributed in terms of goals but assists too, proving that he is one of the most complete strikers in the world. The Polish international has impressed on many occasions often using his unique athleticism and poachers instinct to beat teams single-handedly. Since Bayern Munich are considered to be one of the favourites for the Champions League while sitting on top of the Bundesliga with a 4 point buffer and still going strong in the semi-finals of The DFB Pokal, The Bavarians realistically stand a chance of winning a treble this season, especially when you have a Robert Lewandowski in your side.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
Games: 11 | Goals: 13 | Assists: 2
Cristiano Ronaldo has left it to the best time possible to hit form. Scoring in 9 consecutive games from the start of 2020. The Mediera born forward has also added 4 MOTM too. Goal contributions against Roma, Napoli and Inter have also shown that he is still the biggest of big-game players. Juve were in a three-horse race for the Scudetto along with Lazio and Inter Milan before football was stopped, in the semi-final of the Copa Italia taking an away goal into the home leg and are still in the tie vs Lyon in The Champions League. For the Juve hierarchy, the Serie A title and Copa Italia is a bare minimum and they will also be looking to bring back their first UCL titlw since the 95/96 season. If the season is to advance Ronaldo will have as big a chance as anybody as you know he will be once again providing in the big games as he tries to draw level with Messi with 6 Balon d’Ors.
Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool and The Netherlands)
Games: 13 | Clean sheets: 6 | Goals conceded: 13
The runner up to the Balon d’Or in 2019 has had another great year up to this point. Being a major reason that Liverpool have not conceded more goals. The Dutchman isn’t only in the running for the Balon d’Or but the PFA player of the year too. Considered by many to be the best centre half in the world, it is almost certain that Van Dijk will be voted in top 5 best players in the world come the ceremony in December as he has established himself as one of the best players in the world. A big chance for the Dutchman to go one better than last year in the Balon D’or was the Euros but due to the cancellation, he may have missed out on a chance to show the world that he is worthy of taking the prize home.
Kylian Mbappé (PSG and France)
Games: 14 | Goals: 12 | Assists: 2
The 21-year-old has once again played out of his skin. 14 goal contributions in 14 games this year proves that he deserves to be on the podium if the season was to end right now. Outperforming the likes of Ángel Di María. Inside of Europe, Mbappe has some of the best numbers and is the current top scorer in Ligue 1 with 18 and half of them coming in 2020. Along with Bayern Munich, PSG are in a strong position to go all the way in the Champions League, they are also in the final of the Coupe De La Ligue and are 12 points clear in Ligue 1, so if the season resumes and PSG end up winning the UCL we could see the second-youngest Balon d’Or winner after Ronaldo Nazário.