In the past 12 years Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won 11 Ballon d’Ors between them but Robin van Persie doesn’t believe either man should add to their tally this year.
The two superstars have been near untouchable for over a decade, with only Luka Modric’s Champions League win and run to the World Cup final deeming him worthy of breaking 10 years in-a-row when only Messi or Ronaldo was the best in the world.
Messi reclaimed the award last year, to put him ahead of his rival on six titles, but Van Persie thinks that neither is deserving of even being in the top three this year.
Replying to a BT Sport tweet, Van Persie revealed Robert Lewandowski, Kevin de Bruyne and Sadio Mane would be his current front runners.
— Robin van Persie (@Persie_Official) July 8, 2020
Lewandowski is having yet another incredible season with Bayern Munich and, after helping lead them to a domestic double, could win a Champions League medal in August, with the German champions many people’s favourites.
The Pole leads the European Golden Shoe standings this season, having scored 34 goals with Ciro Immobile in second with 29 goals, and it could be an extremely trophy laden year for him.
Whilst De Bruyne, and his Manchester City teammates, has seen Liverpool disappear off into the distance with the Premier League title there is little doubt at how good the Belgian has been this season.
With 10 goals and 18 assists in the league alone, and counting, the former Chelsea midfielder is favourite for the PFA Player of the Season award and already won the Carabao Cup.
Pep Guardiola’s side will have their eyes on a cup treble with the FA Cup and Champions League to come an doing that could put De Bruyne in line for the Ballon d’Or.
Mane’s stats are worse than teammate Mo Salah, with 16 goals and seven assists to Salah’s 18 goals and nine assists, but the former Southampton man has arguably been more important to the title success than his teammate this season.
The Senegalese footballer has arguably been the best player for a side that is about to break all sorts of records and have already confirmed themselves as champions for the first time in 30 years.
Obviously whether you think the Ballon d’Or is for best player in the world or best player for the year decides whether or not Messi and Ronaldo should be in the top three, but there’s no doubting that Van Persie’s trio would be worthy candidate this year.