A lot of talks have been revolving around the Ballon d’Or debate with the award set to return this year after it was scrapped in 202o due to COVID.
The last recipient of the award is Lionel Messi who has since moved to Paris Saint Germain and while he is still on the list, many are not backing him to defend the award following a poor outing with his club last season despite helping Argentina to the Copan America title.
Chelsea’s Jorginho and Robert Lewandowski have emerged as the leading male candidates for the award but Cristiano Ronaldo’s name is never going to be away from such accolades.
Since the award’s inception in 1956, Messi has been the most nominated player for the gong and ahead of the 2021 edition, Spanish publication AS has done the maths and revealed the eight players who have been in the running most for the prize.
In the list, Paulo Maldini is one of the three players out of the eight to have failed to win the award before with the list comprising of some of the finest players the game has ever produced.
Players with most Ballon d’Or nominations
- 8. Zinedine Zidane – 11
- 7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 11
- 6. Gianluigi Buffon – 11
- 5. Franz Beckenbauer – 12
- 4. Johan Cruyff – 12
- 3. Paolo Maldini – 13
- 2. Lionel Messi – 15
- 1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 17