Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine Lionel Messi have dominated world football for the last 15 years, picking all but two Ballon d’Or awards over that period. Messi picked his eighth earlier in November, but it could well signify the end to the duo’s dominance.
The pair have since left European football, with Ronaldo joining Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia and Messi joining Inter Miami in the United States. They remain very important figures in their national setups, but it is safe to say the time to usher in new blood has come.
The talk has been centered on France and PSG star Kylian Mbappe, free-scoring Norway, and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland for some time. Haaland was second to Messi in the Ballon d’Or ranking, with Mbappe coming in third. But there is someone else in the picture: Jude Bellingham.
The Battle for Supremacy
The work ethics and hard work of Ronaldo and Messi have seen the world worshipping the pair for almost two decades. Accepting his latest award, Messi admitted that he doesn’t have many years left playing football and agrees with many that Mbappe and Haaland are his worthy successors. He fell short of mentioning Bellingham, but that doesn’t take away the fact that the English and Real Madrid prodigy is also a frontrunner for the top award for years to come. Fans can start looking for the best gambling site as they prepare to wager on these stars to win awards in upcoming seasons.
1. Kylian Mbappé
Mbappe’s crazy numbers for club and country easily put him in the same debate as Ronaldo and Messi.
He is PSG’s all-time top goalscorer, known for his electric runs and intimidating goalscoring ability.
At 23, he has played in two World Cup finals, scoring a hattrick in the 2022 edition, where he lost to Messi’s Argentina.
2. Erling Haaland
On the other hand, Haaland broke the English Premier League goal-scoring record on his first attempt and looks set to smash records in the Champions League.
He is currently leading the top-scorers race in the EPL with 11 goals after 11 matches.
The Norwegian is tall, strong, and fast, possessing the ideal athleticism of the perfect player, making him among the best strikers in the world. Not many big footballers have made scoring that easy, and at 23, he is bound to break many records.
With the way he is scoring and topping all the goals chart, there is a possibility that Erling Haaland will continue to dominate his era.
3. Jude Bellingham
The last two months have treated football fans to the best of young English forward Jude Bellingham.
The 20-year-old moved to Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund in August and took no time to settle in the new environment.
The Englishman has obviously cemented his status as one of the best midfielders in the world.
He tops the La Liga scoring charts with 10 goals after 13 matches and was recently named the winner of the Kopa Trophy in the recently held Ballon d’Or awards.
The trophy recognizes the best player below 21 years old over the previous season. According to his Madrid boss, Carlo Ancelotti, he is young, hungry, and ready to learn.
4. Vinicius Junior
The skillful Brazilian winger has the capability to change games on his own. He is immensely talented and has the potential to become a top top player in world football.
Vinicius Junior has been able to start strong when Karim Benzema left Real Madrid due to injury but has shown signs of improvement lately.
If he continues to perform well, Real Madrid could win trophies at home and in Europe. Moreover, he might lead Brazil in the Copa America, considering Neymar’s recent knee injury, which could make 2024 a potentially great year for him.
5. Jamal Musiala
Lionel named Jamal Musiala above Bellingham and Pedri in his Kopa Trophy vote.
There’s a reason why the greatest football player of all-time thinks so highly of Jamal Musiala.
The German attacking midfielder is the complete package. He can create, dribble, score, and is equally technical.
Musiala still has time to hone his skills and become of the best players of his generation.
It promises to be an amazing battle for these young players, and the football world can only marvel at what nature keeps presenting. Football has no guarantees, but these three players have the biggest claim to dominate football and follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, Messi and Ronaldo, for years to come.