Only Cristiano Ronaldo, while playing for Manchester United, and Liverpool’s Michael Owen have won the Ballon d’Or in the last 46 years while playing for a Premier League team…
Cristiano Ronaldo collected his third Ballon d’Or last night, while long-time rival and four-time victor Lionel Messi finished second. Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer finished third, and there wasn’t a Premier League player to be seen.
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For a league that, with good reason, considers itself to be the best in the world, the Premier League has actually only produced two Ballon d’Or winners in the last 46 years – Ronaldo, back in his Manchester United days, in 2008, and Liverpool’s Michael Owen in 2001.
In fact, England have only won six Ballon d’Or’s since the award came into being in 1956 – Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews and Manchester United trio Dennis Law, Bobby Charlton and George Best the others to taste success.
So who should we be pinning our hopes on in 2015? Here are ten Premier League players that could end the Messi-Ronaldo dominance this year:
10) Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Has been nominated for the award in the past, and would love to add the Ballon d’Or to his vast trophy collection. At 29, Rooney is towards the back-end of his ‘peak years’, but as captain of club and country, he still has the chance for a huge year.