Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani feels that this year’s Ballon d’Or should be awarded to a French player. Amidst this reports have surfaced that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will finish outside the top three in the voting.
The most coveted individual award will be presented on December 3. Reports from Tuttosport claimed that Real Madrid players Luka Modric and Raphael Varane, and Paris Saint-Germain’s young forward Kylian Mbappe will make the top three.
There are high chances of Modric clinching the trophy. He has become the favourite after beating Messi and Ronaldo to FIFA’s ‘The Best’ title. Modric had helped Croatia to reach the World Cup final.
Cavani though insists that a French player should be awarded as France had won the World Cup this year. In total there are four French Ballon d’Or winners, with Zinedine Zidane being the latest who won it in 1998.
Jean-Pierre Papin and Michel Platini have won the trophy twice. Cavani thinks one of Varane, Mbappe or Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann should win it this time.
“Varane may well be there, Griezmann, Mbappe… I think a Frenchman should win,” the PSG striker told RMC.
“There are other players who could win it, but it should be a Frenchman, they have won the World Cup.
“Modric has had a great season, but his team-mate Varane won the Champions League and the World Cup. Modric was a finalist and had a great campaign, but Varane deserves it more.”
— Goal Tanzania (@GoalTanzania) November 21, 2018
Recently L’Equipe has released a teaser video of the ceremony. In the video Mbappe, Varane and Modric are shown first and then other candidates are featured after a delay.
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This has led to speculations in Italy’s publications like Corriere della Sera and Tuttosport that Ronaldo and Messi will not be in the top three. If this happens this would be the first time in over 10 years.
A French publication RFI has also claimed that in the votes taken place on November 9, Modric was placed on top with Varane and Mbappe following next.
Should any of the three players win the trophy, they would be the first player since Kaka in 2007 to break the dominance of Juventus and Barcelona superstars.