The race for the Ballon d’Or is intensifying, and once again, the focus will be on talismen Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But this time, another player is likely to challenge the duo, with that being Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric.
Both CR7 and Messi are looking for their sixth Ballon d’Or crowns. In the 30-man shortlist, both Messi and Ronaldo were once again named, as they look to continue their dominance and be considered among the best every year.
Several French players are named in the list, as winning the 2018 World Cup gave them the impetus. So besides Modric, Ronaldo believes the World Champions to have a genuine chance as well, along with Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, who is also in contention.
Speaking to the France Football magazine, the Juventus superstar stated: “So, let’s say Salah, Modric, (Antoine) Griezmann, (Raphael) Varane, (Kylian) Mbappe – the French in general because they are world champions.”
"How many players can play at the very top level for 10 years? There's only two, me and Messi."
"No player at my age transfers from a big club to another for £100m. Players go to China, UAE, India, and end their career there, without having to stay at a high level."
— José Mourinho-MUFC (@Utd_JM) October 31, 2018
With Messi and himself being in the thick of action over the last decade, the Portuguese does admit that believes it will be difficult for any of these nominees to keep the intensity going, and emulate the manner in which the aforementioned duo has ruled the football world.
“But I will wait and see if all these players are still at the top in 10 years, like Messi and I have done, and like we continue to do,” Cristiano added.
The Juventus forward could become the first player to win it with three different clubs if he claims this year’s title, but it still remains to be seen how things pan out for both these stars and the other nominees.