Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar Jr.? Who will win the 2015 Ballon D’Or award? Join us as we preview this highly sought-after individual prize and serve up our choice predictions complete with soccer odds.
2016 Ballon D’Or Award
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona tandem Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. are on the shortlist of hopefuls for the coveted Ballon D’Or prize set to be decided in less than a week during a glittering ceremony on January 11 befitting of the game’s glitterati.
Annually, a Ballon D’Or winner is determined, bestowing the honour on the player deemed to be the world’s best player over the course of the previous 12 months. The day itself will see others awarded individual prizes too – from players, coaches and team officials to media personalities – but the golden trophy given to the world’s best player overshadows all else.
The award has been dominated by the pair of rivals in Spanish football, Messi and Ronaldo, since its inception in 2010, amalgamating the previously known FIFA World Player of the Year award and France’s Football Ballon D’Or into one award.
Messi won the first three years in a row (2010-2012) while Cristiano Ronaldo finished second in each and every one of those. Xavi (Barcelona) earned third place in 2010 and 2011 while Andreas Iniesta (Barcelona) claimed third place in 2012. Messi previously won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2009, making this year’s attempt at a fifth title.
The script flipped in 2013 when Cristiano Ronald won his first Ballon D’Or award, ahead of Lionel Messi (second place) and Bayern Munich’s Frank Ribery (third place). The ensuing year, Cristiano Ronaldo picked up his second Ballon D’Or, once again muscling Lionel Messi to the prize. Manuel Neur (Bayern Munich goalie) took third place honours. In 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA World Player of the Year awarded, making this his attempt at a fourth overall title.
Ballon D'Or Odds Overview
Going into the 2015 ballot, two-time running Ballon D’Or winner in a row Cristiano Ronaldo is surprisingly the long shot to win a hat trick of titles at 25/1 odds at bet365 and 20/1 odds at William Hill. The Portuguese star had the best season of his career in terms of stats (he was the highest scorer in Europe), but the tandem of Messi and Neymar, largely down to Barcelona’s standout season winning the Spanish league title, Copa Del Rey and the Champions League, have the edge in the soccer odds betting market.
Naturally, Messi emerges as the runaway favorite anywhere from 1/12 odds at betway to 1/20 at bet365 and 1/25 at William Hill. Neymar, meanwhile, is priced anywhere from 12/1 at bet365, PaddyPower and Coral and as low as 9/1 at 888Sport and Unibet. The lowest current price on Neymar sneaking away with the coveted prize, breaking up the duopoly inflicted by Messi and Ronaldo is at bwin where he’s an 8/1 soccer pick.
On one hand, it’s easily understandable why the Barcelona pairing enters the running with better odds than Ronaldo, not least why Messi is the considerable favorite of the pair too. Messi and Neymar had a standout season with Barcelona, winning the Treble and amassing bucket loads of goals in the process. Messi scored 43 while Neymar scored 22 for a combined 65 goals just in La Liga. Alongside their many stellar stats for the 12 months. Messi pulls ahead of Neymar with a runners-up finish with Argentina in Copa America last season (Chile won the title).
It’s hard to argue with the pair’s heady stats and accomplishments for club and country. Unlike the pairing, however, Cristiano Ronaldo is a veritable one-man show in Real Madrid. Even with the most expensive player in the world Gareth Bale playing alongside him in Real, Cristiano Ronaldo remains the beating heart of Los Blancos. Bale has been largely underwhelming since crossing over from Premier League to Primera Division, leaving Ronaldo as Real’s singular best player and their best chance in every competition. However, he can’t do it alone. Winning coveted titles is a team effort as evinced by the sensational Barcelona attacking front and their solid defence that combined splendidly to deliver all their trophies in 2015 that now allow Messi and Neymar to potentially lap up all the plaudits in Switzerland.
Plus, it’s not easy competing in a league with the likes of the Catalan giants as your main rivals. Ronaldo somehow still finds a way to lead La Liga with 48 goals last season and emerge as Europe’s top scorer to boot. Unfortunately, for the Real Madrid star, his side’s season left much to be desired in the trophy cabinet and for that alone he may well be snubbed by the voters.
What's The Pick?
Messi is most likely to win, but Ronaldo could surprise based on his individual effort. Indeed, consensus bets lean towards the Portugese star, with 48.36 % of the bets in his camp. Messi has acquired 46.28% of bets while Neymar has a paltry 5.36% of the bets according to leading UK sportsbooks.
Soccer Picks: Ronaldo 25/1
Best Line Offered: at Bet365