A lot of discussions has centered on the Ballon d’Or controversy, with the award poised to return this year after being canceled in 2020 owing to COVID.
Lionel Messi, who has since gone to Paris Saint-Germain, was the last recipient of the honor, and while he is still on the list, many are not backing him to defend the prize following a disappointing season with his club last season despite helping Argentina win the Copan America title.
Chelsea mid feider Jorginho and Lewandowski have emerged as the main male prospects for the prize, although Cristiano Ronaldo’s name will never be far from such honors.
Messi has been the most nominated player for the award since its creation in 1956, and ahead of the 2021 edition, Spanish daily AS has done the math and discovered the eight players who have been in the running the most for the accolade.
Paulo Maldini is one of three players on the list out of eight who have not won the award despite being nominated, with the list featuring some of the Worlds best players.
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