Awarding the Ballon d’Or at the end of each year is always the most subjective of individual accolades.
Not only because the metrics have never been clearly defined, but because of the tactical voting that’s employed by various captains, managers and journalists.
It’s precisely why this year could see Chelsea’s Jorginho lift the coveted gong but, in truth, the midfielder shouldn’t get anywhere near it.
Though the fact that he ‘only’ won the Copa del Rey last season with Barcelona will be used as a stick to beat him with, that neatly escapes the fact that Leo Messi was only behind Robert Lewandowski in terms of goals scored.
With eight assists, countless successful dribbles and key passes, his importance to Barca isn’t in question.
Not forgetting that Messi almost single-handedly won the Copa America for Argentina, their first trophy in 28 years.
Bayern’s goalscoring machine would almost certainly have won the award in 2020 had it not been scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He played the fullest part in the Bavarians winning the sextuple, two trophies of which were won in the 2020/21 season, though in the last calendar year.
The Polish front man didn’t stop scoring throughout the campaign, and there’ll surely be widespread support for him to receive a belated Ballon d’Or.
Player of the 2020 European Championship, and rock-solid for eventual winners, Italy.
At just 22 years of age, Donnarumma has his entire career still ahead of him, even if it already seems like he’s been around forever.
Awarding a goalkeeper the Ballon d’Or might not be the most popular of decisions, but why not?
As important for club and country as any other outfield player, he certainly deserves to be in the conversation.
No Ballon d’Or podium is ever complete without the Portuguese, who can count the Euro 2020 Golden Boot as one of his achievements of this year.
Thirty six goals in 44 matches in 2020/21 per transfermarkt, means that he remains a worthwhile contender.
Kevin De Bruyne
The PFA’s Player of the Year, and the driving force once more behind Manchester City’s relentless push for glory.
Behind everything good that Pep Guardiola’s side did throughout last season, the Belgian carried his own individual form into the Euros but, unfortunately, wasn’t able to help them to the glittering prize.