The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by the France Football magazine. It is awarded to the male player who has performed the best over the past year. Football journalists vote for their favourite player and the man with the most votes picks up the trophy.
Interestingly, before 1995 the Ballon d’Or was only awarded to European players but was then made open to players from around the world. The list of previous winners reads like a who’s who of world football.
Stanley Matthews was the first winner and other players who have won the award include Alfredo Di Stefano, Eusebio, George Best, Johann Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Michel Platini, Marco van Basten, Ronaldo (Brazil) and Zinedine Zidane.
More recently, the Ballon D’or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. They have shared the trophy over the past 10 years, each winning it five times. Will one of them move ahead as the all-time winner or will a new player emerge to take the award this year?
Continue reading for our 2018 Ballon d’Or predictions.
Luka Modric was named FIFA Best Player in September. Could he also win the Ballon d'Or and break the legacy of Messi and Ronaldo?
1. Ballon d'Or odds and favourites
There is one man who stands head and shoulders above the rest in the 2018 Ballon d’Or betting odds and his name is Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese forward, who now players for Juventus in Italy, enjoyed another incredible year at Real Madrid. Ronaldo won the Champions League for the fifth time his career and for the third season in succession. He was the top scorer in the Champions League for the seventh time and was named in the Champions League squad of the season for the fifth time.
Things did not go according to plan in La Liga or at the World Cup, where Portugal crashed out early but Ronaldo did score a hattrick against Spain to set the tournament alight in the group stages.
Ronaldo is the favourite to win the 2018 Ballon D’or priced at 1/3 with Bet365.
We have more Ballon d’Or betting tips below.
2. 2018 Ballon d'Or predictions and other bets
As highlighted above, Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or five times but he has finished second to Ronaldo on the previous two occasions. The Argentine enjoyed a successful La Liga season with Barcelona, landing the title for the ninth time in his career. Messi was also the top goal scorer in La Liga and claimed the most assists.
The World Cup and Champions League was not great for Messi last season and it’s the performance in the latter which has seen him fall behind Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or odds. You can back Messi to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or at 16/1 with Bet365.
A group of players have emerged ahead of Messi in the Ballon d’Or betting this year. Luka Modric helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and guided Croatia to the World Cup final. The central midfielder is on offer at 4/1, while Atletico Madrid and French forward Antoine Griezmann is available at 8/1.
An intriguing bet at 10/1 with Bet365 is Griezmann’s fellow World Cup winner, Kylian Mbappe. The young PSG forward was thrilling to watch in Russia but his time will probably come in the future. Finally, who can forget the impact Mohamed Salah had on the Premier League season? The record-breaking goalscorer set new records in his first season in English football but was forced off the field in the Champions League final due to injury. Salah is 18/1 to win the Ballon d’Or.
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