Who will win the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or?
Event: FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014
Date: January 12, 2015
Location: Kongresshaus, in Zurich (Switzerland
Final nominees: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Manuel Neuer
Less than a week away from the day where we will all get to know who is crowned as the best player in the world, we take another look at the final 3 candidates. The race might be finally over, but even at this stage of the season, there are still a few doubts about who will really cross the finishing line in first place.
Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo, together with Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich‘s Manuel Neuer ended up being the players gathering the most votes from a 23-men list in last November and therefore, they were already announced as the top 3 players for 2014.
#1: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid/Portugal
The Portuguese star ended 2014 in great style, where he scored a total of 61 goals for both club and country. With Real Madrid, he started by winning the Copa del Rey (even though he missed the final game against Barcelona), to then clinch the UEFA Champions League title for the 2nd time in his career. In August, he delivered the Merengues the European Super Cup after scoring the only 2 goals in the match against Sevilla. Late in 2014, he wrapped up the last title of the year, after winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco following victories against Cruz Azul and San Lorenzo. He’s been the odds favorite pretty much the whole time and his chances of winning his 3rd FIFA Ballon d’Or this year are currently assessed at 1.16.
#2: Lionel Messi, Barcelona/Argentina
The 27-year old may very well have had his worst season in the past 7 years, but that didn’t stop him from closing 2014 with 58 goals for both FC Barcelona and the Argentinian National Team. He didn’t won any team trophy throughout the whole year though, but we can’t really say he didn’t get close to the much-wanted silverware. He saw Barcelona losing the title against Atletico in the very last round of La Liga and he led Argentina to the final in the FIFA World Cup, where he also felt powerless to shut down a very disciplined Germany. He’s the underdog to win the Ballon d’Or, with sports bookmakers firms rating him with odds of 17.00.
#3: Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich/Germany
The 28-year old will try to become the first goalkeeper to have ever won the FIFA Ballon d’Or, and he’s basically hoping that the World Cup has played a huge factor in the minds of those who voted for this award. He has been one of Germany and Bayern Munich‘s most consistent players of 2014, winning both the Bundesliga and the FIFA World Cup in what turned out to be an almost perfect year. He’s right behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the favorites list, with his odds of winning the FIFA Ballon d’Or currently assessed at 5.00.
Sources: goal.com / theguardian.com