Who will be the world's best footballer in 2021? The Ballon d'Or is the Oscar of football, it's just more important. This is not about teams and ensembles, this is about the best individual player of the year. Who will claim the title this year? 30 candidates were nominated, which we will of course list again for you. But above all, we'll show you the top candidates and show you how good (or bad) they are in FIFA 22. Here we go!
Ballon d'Or 2021: All Nominees
We will, of course, first show you all 30 candidates who are nominated for the Ballon d'Or 2021. Even if some players might stand a chance in comparison to the top 5, a nomination for the Ballon d'Or is a huge success. Look at club legends like Gerard Moreno and Cesar Azpilicueta or national heroes like Simon Kjaer and Riyad Mahrez. They achieved incredible things over the past few months and really stood out in there respective parts. So let's take a look at the 30 nominees for the Ballon d'Or 2021:
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
- N'golo Kanté (Chelsea)
- Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
- Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus Turin)
- Mason Mount (Chelsea)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
- Nicolo Barella (Inter Mailand)
- Lionel Messi (PSG)
- Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
- Pedri (FC Barcelona)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus Turin)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Neymar (PSG)
- Lautaro Martinez (Inter Mailand)
- Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
- Simon Kjaer (AC Mailand)
- Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern)
- Jorginho (Chelsea)
- Mohamed Salah (FC Liverpool)
- Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
- Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
- Gerard (Villarreal)
- Phil Foden (Manchester City)
- Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
- Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
Who's Gonna Win The Ballon d'Or 2021? The Top 10 In FIFA 22
Only those players who have the highest chance of the Ballon d'Or 2021 make it into our top 10. So just the best of the best. Some leaks were already released and they all show the final top 3. Some even confirm that Robert Lewandowski will win the Ballon d'Or 2021. Regarding the disgrace from last year, this would be a wholesome decision. Imagine not winning one of the most deserved awards in recent years, just because the farmer league... sorry, the Ligue 1 didn't end regularly. That was just ridiculous as hell. Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema complete the Ballon d'Or top 3.
According to another leak, PSG newcomer Messi will become world footballer for the seventh time, followed by Lewandowski and Benzema... Why? What did he achieve? Oh, carrying Barcelona to the top 3 in Spain. This is the definition of fanboy. Of course, nothing is certain, but we can recognize a certain pattern. But everyone can come up with such a list... So here are the EarlyGame Top 10 Ballon d'Or contenders and – most important – their FIFA stats.
Ballon d'Or Rank 10: Neymar
They see him rollin', they hatin'. Yes, the Brazilian is yet again on a Ballon d'Or shortlist. He made it to the final of the Copa America '21 with Selecao and scored two goals during the tournament. This guy is now 29 years old... there were times (good old Barcelona) when everyone was sure that he would follow in the footsteps of Messi and Ronaldo and easily win two or three golden balls.
But to make it to the top of world football, PSG has to win the Champions League. To shine in such a star ensemble is really difficult, but if 'Ney' would carry his team to an important title, then he would have deserved the Ballon d'Or. So maybe in 2022 then.
In Ultimate Team, however, the winger has been a world footballer for years. Due to his 10 stars (5 weak foot, 5 skills) and his pace, he is an exceptional attacker. Everyone would like to have him on their FUT team. Just look at his sick stats:
Ballon d'Or Rank 9: Bruno Fernandes
What an admireable dribbler! Remember Ronaldinho? This is him now. Calm down, I'm not saying that he plays like Ronaldinho, but Bruno Fernandes is just the best "real 10" in football these days. A playmaker who gives you wet dreams every night (Editor: Tell me you're single, without telling me you're single). His passing is just from another world. No, from another dimension. He is extremely important for ManUnited's offensive game and can dismantle defensive players just because of his insane overview.
No hate but: His biggest problem is Manchester United, the Red Devils are not capable of competing for anything important. And even if the Ballon d'Or should actually be awarded based on the individual skill, we all know that team success is much more important than anything else. Except that your name is Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. I'm sorry for that, Bruno.
And what does he lack to close up to Ronaldinho? We spoke of skills before... exactly those are missing. It's the same in FIFA. And of course, he lacks some pace. Bruno Fernandes is nice to have, but he's not exactly a meta midfield player in Ultimate Team.
Ballon d'Or Rank 8: Kylian Mbappé
The top scorer of Ligue 1 in the 2020/21 season should of course not be missing. Kylian Mbappé doesn't need to be introduced anymore. What this lad is delivering every week is simply unique – don't forget that he's just 22 years old. But why is he only in 8th place? Because he disappointed during the European Championships, where he didn't just have zero goals, but also missed the deciding penalty in Round of 16 against Switzerland.
Let's be clear: If the Équipe Tricolore had won the title and Mbappé had scored three or four goals instead of 0, he would have been in first or second place in this ranking. This way, the youngster has to be patient. Are there any doubts that he will win the Ballon d'Or at least once? Nope.
In FIFA, on the other hand, he can be found right at the top. He's the best player in FUT 22, there's no doubt about that. A look at its stats could convince you:
Ballon d'Or Rank 7: Cristiano Ronaldo
CR7 in seventh place? Blasphemy! Seriously: What Cristiano Ronaldo is doing at like 150 years after his return to Manchester United is simply amazing. Without him, the Red Devils would be completely lost, the game is already fully tailored to him and he pays it back with a good performance. He became POTM in September, by the way.
The bigger problem was the second half of the season at Juve last season. In the end, Piemonte Calcio just managed to get 4th in Serie A. The weak performances in "his" Champions League sealed Ronaldo's departure.
He's still smashing in FIFA. In front of the goal he is clinical and scores screamer after screamer.
Ballon d'Or Rank 6: Gianluigi Donnarumma
The player of the tournament at the EM 2021. Donnarumma is among the armada of newcomers that PSG signed in the summer. Although he was Italy's most crucial player during the European Championships, he competes with Keylor Navas for the starting XI. Must be some serious pain to have such luxury problems...
At 22, he still has many chances of winning future Ballon d'Ors. However, goalkeepers (and defensive players in general) are known to have a difficult time to actually win this prize. Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the Ballon d'Or in 2006.
In the virtual goal, however, nobody can fool him. He's the meta-keeper in FIFA 22 and scratches every ball off the line. You want a quick taste of his skill? Here you go:
Ballon d'Or Rank 5: Karim Benzema
Real Madrid's life insurance. It's that simple. Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema has become more and more important for Los Blancos, in the past season he established a new saying: "No Benzema no Party". Who cares about CR7? Ok... I do. Me sad now.
As with Mbappé, the fact that he is only in 5th place is due to the disappointing European Championship. As European champion and top scorer, the 33-year-old would have had the best chance of winning the title. Real Madrid didn't even become champion in Spain... so why is he so far ahead according to the leaks? It's only enough for 5th place in our ranking. Yes, that's right: We don't care about the leaks.
He just lacks pace in FIFA, it would be cool if he got a TOTW card with a decent speed boost. But yeah... that's just not how it works.
Ballon d'Or Rank 4: Jorginho
Let's come to the secret favorite in a high place. Or is he just overrated? After all, the Italian not only led his national team to the European Championship title as a real boss in the midfield, but also won the Champions League with Chelsea! His "I jump up on the penalty kick just before I shoot" tactic is also often copied, but rarely achieved. (Will we actually see it in FIFA 23?)
The 29-year-old deserves some high rank, let's see where he ends up. Unfortunately, in FIFA, we know that he is simply garbage.
Woah, woah, ok. Tough statement, but hey: Jorginho is just not good in FIFA. Look at this stats. You almost ask yourself how he gets the 85 OVR. So let's be honest: How do you actually get the overall ratings in FIFA?
But what about the top 3? Who did we put into it? Who's better than Benzema, Jorginho and Ronaldo? Come on, you know the answer...
Ballon d'Or Rank 3: Lionel Messi
Of course, there is a some random Argentinian guy who already has six Ballon d'Ors in his living room. bUt MeSsI iS FiNiShEd aT pSg. Don't forget: In the summer, he finally made it and won the Copa America with Argentina. His first title with the national team, the curse is broken. The country has had to wait for its first Copa triumph since 1993.
To be honest: Messi wasn't that convincing in 2021 – especially when you compare him with his own achievements and highlights of the past years. Nevertheless, he is still a player who can make the difference and who will bring a lot of joy to all fans of Paris.
In FIFA 22, he was one of the most popular players at the beginning because his curved distance shot was so unbelievably OP. However, his lack of pace no longer makes him a meta player. But hey: He's the best player in FIFA 22 (concerning the OVR ranking).
Ballon d'Or Rank 2: Mohamed Salah
Why is the Egyptian King not in the top 3 in the leaks? Anyone who has seen Mo Salah play in the last few months knows that he is currently one of the best players in the world. Ball control, overview, conclusion. Nobody is fooling him. Under Jürgen Klopp, he achieved absolute world class and was second in the list of goalscorers for the 20/21 season in England with 22 goals just behind Harry Kane (23 goals).
In the Premier League and especially among Liverpool fans, Salah is the clear favorite for the Ballon d'Or. We think it will be a head to head with Messi and our 1st place.
Salah's virtual image is smashing as well. He's really nice in FIFA and can tear apart any defense. Look at the stats – no further questions:
Ballon d'Or Rank 1: Robert Lewandowski
Our best player of the year 2021 is Robert Lewandowski, mainly for the reason that hardly any player in this list (and not even in the top 30) is as important for his team as the Pole. If Benzema is Real's life insurance, then Lewandowski is probably the whole world for FC Bayern Munich, because let's be honest: Without Lewandowski, Bayern would struggle sometimes.
Under Julian Nagelsmann Bayern is conceding silly goals in every single game – but Lewandowski is up front, who makes the difference as hardly any other striker currently.
In FIFA 22, he is the player with the second highest overall rating in the entire game. But he is opposite of the meta. Lewy is just way too slow. With fast wingers, you can use him as a box player, but as you all should know by now: pace is very important and that is exactly what he is lacking. Due to the crashed transfer market, you can buy him for just a few coins.
So, those were our top 10 candidates for the Ballon d'Or in 2021. Maybe things will turn out differently in the end and Harry Kane or Giorgio Chiellini will grab him. But we don't think so. Either way, the elections this time are much more exciting than in previous years. Simply because there are so many possible winners. We are excited.