Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the Ballon d’Or awards for over a decade. The Portuguese-Argentine duo represent the pinnacle of football, and it is only right that they did not give other players in their generation any chance to win it, barring Luka Modric.
With the two superstars now playing in lower leagues outside Europe, the door is open for the next generation to take over. Messi may take home his final Ballon d’Or this year, but it is clear that a change of guard is around the corner.
Vinicius will win Ballon d’Or before Mbappe says KDB
As revealed by Sky Sports (h/t Madrid Xtra) earlier today, Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne was asked to rank three of world football’s top young talents in order of who would win the accolade first.
The Belgian ranked his teammate Erling Haaland first on the list, for the Norweigan superstar is on fire in front of goal for Pep Guardiola’s side. He placed Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr second on his list with Kylian Mbappe taking third place.
De Bruyne’s choice of order between Vinicius and Mbappe attracted the interest of the interviewer who asked the midfielder to explain his leaderboard.
“Why Vinicius ahead of Mbappe? Because I don’t know what’s going to happen with him this year. I also think it’s harder for him to win it at PSG. There are rumours he may go to Madrid, then maybe I’d put him first or something,” he said.
Mbappe’s key to winning the award could lie in Madrid
It is no secret that Mbappe is desperate to join Real Madrid. The Frenchman has been a fan of the Merengues since his early footballing days and dreams of donning the white colours.
He is one of the best players in world football at the moment, but the Ballon d’Or is an award that counts not just individual brilliance but the club-level trophies won as well.
Needless to say, moving to Real Madrid would significantly boost Mbappe’s chances of winning the French award.
A transfer this summer is unlikely, but a move next year as a free agent appears well placed.
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.