Will Jude Bellingham be the next Ballon d’Or winner?

{by Ben Ayuko}

{image by Tribuna}


Will Jude Bellingham win the race to the most prized individual title in football?

The 20yrold enjoyed a spectacular debut season at his new club, Real Madrid, racking a total of 23 goals and 13 assists (36 G+A) in 42 games {including 1 assist in the 2-0 champions league final victory over Borussia Dortmund}.

Aside from winning the much-coveted (15th) Champions League Trophy, arguably the pinnacle of European football, his contributions were telling in earning Real Madrid their 36th Spanish La Liga title. Notable contributions include game winning goals in both el Clasico games against their bitter rivals, Barcelona.

As good as he has been though, he will undoubtedly be facing some stiff competition from other World Talents;

Erling Haaland, who earned the golden boot with a league high 27 goals, had a telling contribution in Manchester City retaining the English Premier League trophy after seeing off stiff competition from both Arsenal and Liverpool. He contributed 38 Goals and 6 assists (44G+A) in 45 games. His hat is sure to be in the Ring.

Harry Kane, of Bayern Munich, had 44 Goals (most in Europe) and 12 Assists (56 G+A) in 45 games across all competitions in Europe (including a spectacular strike from the halfway line) and was one of the standout performers of the season. However, despite being the top marksman in Europe (let alone winning the golden boot in the German Bundesliga) his failure to get his hands on any silverware may stifle his chances at getting the award. Though he may yet have a say if he captains his country to EURO 24 glory.

Kylian Mbappe, Bellingham’s new teammate at Real Madrid, also had a solid season, boasting 44 Goals and 10 Assists (54G+A) in 47 games across all coemptions in Europe. His tally earned him the Golden Boot in France’s Ligue 1 as well as clinching his team the Domestic Treble.

Finally, Vinicius Junior, Bellingham’s current Real Madrid teammate, was just as if not more influential in Real Madrid’s successful season. His 24 goals and 9 assists (which included a brace in the semi-final and a goal in the final) in 38 games (33G+A) went a long way in securing the La Liga and Champions League Trophies for his club.

Given the EURO 24 / Copa America tournaments are about to take place in June/July, the award may very well go to whoever manages to clinch the title for their country.

It is important to note that; with Norway’s failure to qualify, Erling Haaland may find himself at a disadvantage as he will not be able to prove his worth at the EURO 24 tournament.

No doubt every single player on the list is deserving of the accolade as each of them has proved themselves time and time again over the course of the last 9 months. However, it appears to Bellingham’s name that keeps being mentioned in the conversation. And given that this is the first time in over 10yrs that neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo is up for the award, the trophy is up for grabs.

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