Ballon D'Or Updates
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The Barcelona midfielder voiced his opinion, saying it is Messi who is going to win the greatest individual trophy this year, and not Neymar. But he also said that Neymar will succeed the legacy of Messi.

Rafinha: Neymar can't pip Messi to the Ballon d'Or
The Brazilian midfielder is undoubtedly certain that Messi deserves to win the Ballon d'Or for 2015 for the effervescence and determination he has showed on the pitch. Neyamar has also been shortlisted among the top three nominees for the coveted prize, along with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but Rafinha has already voted- vocally- his choice.

"I'm a fan of Neymar, but I have to admit that Messi is from another planet. In the future, Neymar will be the best in the world, but right now it's Messi." Rafinha told O'Globo.

Neymar has entered  the final round of Ballon d'Or award for the first time, while Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won it four and three times respectively. Rafinha has not featured for Barcelona since September due to ligament injury.

The FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony will be hosted on 11th of January 2016.

The long wait is over; final list of nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 is out. Not surprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi make it to the top three male selected candidates for this coveted trophy, joining them is Brazilian forward Neymar.

FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy of 2014
Both Messi and Neymar play for Spanish club Barcelona while Ronaldo dons the jersey of Real Madrid.

Carli Lloyd from USA, Aya Miyama from Japan and Célia Šašić from Germany are selected to compete for the women’s award.

Pep Guardiola, manager of FC Bayern Munich, Luis Enrique of FC Barcelona and Jorge Sampaoli of Chilean national team since 2012 are selected as male nominees for the FIFA World Coach of the Year.

Jill Ellis of USA national team, Mark Sampson of English national team and Norio Sasaki of Japanese national team are candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year, women’s national team.

Selected nominees were chosen by captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams from 207 FIFA member associations and media individuals selected by FIFA and French Football Federation.

FIFA Puskás Award is given to the player who scored the best goal of the year. The nominees for this award are Alessandro Florenzi, who scored a screamer from 50 yards for AS Roma against FC Barcelona, Wendell Lira, scoring for Goianesia against Atletico-GO and Lionel Messi, scoring for Barcelona after dribbling past the heart of Athletic Bilbao's defence.

Winners to be announced on 11 January 2016 at FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 ceremony.

Leo Messi is sure to win this year's Ballon d'Or according to his teammate Neymar.

Lionel Messi and Neymar
Messi inspired Barcelona to a treble winning campaign last season and reached the finals of the Copa America with Argentina in the summer. Messi has already scored 35 goals from 35 games in 2015 and has won the Copa Del Rey, La Liga and Champions league with Barcelona.



Messi is currently out with a lengthy injury but according to Neymar, that is not going to stop the Argentine from winning the coveted trophy once again.

Neymar was speaking to the media after Brazil's 2-1 win over Peru, when he said that this years prize is already decided and that no one other than Messi deserves to win it this time. Neymar also said that he hoped to get into the top three for the first time this year.

Neymar also had a good season and scored in the final of Champions League against Juventus. With Messi currently out injured, Neymar has been the focal point in Barcelona's attack and he has been superb so far, taking responsibility when needed.

Neymar was seventh in last year's Ballon d'Or poll but he has been to the gala once before when he was awarded the Puskas award for the best goal back in 2012 when he was at Santos.

Cristiano Ronaldo is now the best footballer in the world. He has adapted even more with the forward not just scoring goals, but also creating and is making it a habit to repeatedly laud the efforts of his team mates and coaches.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Winner FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014
To put it in a football context, before last year's awards ceremony the Portuguese star was 4-1 (Ballon d'Or) awards down. It is now 4-3. He showed his delight as his crowning glory was announced. Through the years of Lionel Messi's dominance Ronaldo coped with adversity, doubt over his abilities and gained the tag of one of the most hated players in the world. He put his head down and worked hard as he watched Lionel Messi claim four Ballon d'Ors in a row; while seated in the first row of the Zurich building. Fast track 2015, Ronaldo has bagged two in a row as the Portuguese cream is finally at the top.

Now its Messi's turn to be the fan, the side-show and the guy back in the trenches working harder. Now he sits on the sideline and watches Ronaldo bask in the rays of the sun. Messi however has not had the best last two seasons; plagued by injuries, poor form, the bickering and the inability to be the main guy in world football. Even Joseph Blatter was quick to label Ronaldo as a extravagant, a commander on the pitch and mocked his hairstyles, making note of his preference of Lionel Messi. Isn't the president of FIFA meant to be objective? Ronaldo went on to respond in a respectful manner to Mr Blatter as he powered through the dramas to be the world's best player last season.

In recent weeks the murmurs outside the Nou Camp have been rather different. Messi has been very vocal lately. While his arch adversary has been known to be vocal and one who loves the spotlight both on and off the pitch, Messi has been known to be the private and reserved player. Oh has he? Messi has changed, or are his true colors showing?

What we noticed:

  • A rocky relationship with Luis Enrique. 
  • He is unsettled at Barca as he goes back and forth about his future at the club. 
  • He got gastroenteritis after being dropped by Luis Enrique for the Real Sociedad loss. (Funny enough Xavi Hernandez made comments earlier that week about how players who make such a complaint (gastroenteritis - stomach bug) are often covering up something and there is more to it than revealed.) 
  • The star forward is showing his frustrations, which has been reported to be missing Cesc Fabregas a close friend.
  • Maneuvering a move away? Maybe, with the player or was it his son Thiago liking Chelsea's Instagram account, and some of their players' accounts. He then votes for Jose Mourinho as the best coach in the world. Read into it as you want.


This is unfamiliar territory for the Argentine skipper. So used to the limelight, being away from the headlines for the last two years might be affecting him. Messi could be hoping for a move away, but with FFP (FIFA Fair Play) active only two clubs can realistically get the star. Real Madrid and Manchester United, who are both in no position to get the player, the deal will be worth around £550 million. The question is, is it worth it in a financial sense?

Barcelona's easiest solution would be the sacking of another manager, who Lionel Messi has been unable to play under. It will be a softer blow than losing their talisman. This will leave Barca in an even more unstable state as they have had 4 coaches in the last six years. The tables have turned indeed and now we wait and hope to see how this change of events will affect the Argentine star. Will he be able to bounce back or show the same level of desire as Ronaldo? If he cannot, we have to acknowledge Ronaldo a lot more. At this moment Ronaldo leads the race to not just another Ballon d'Or but a record tying fourth.

Article contributed by: Benedict Chanakira

Twitter: @bchanakira2

One, if not the most, prestigious award for any footballer to receive, the Ballon D’Or is given to the player of the year of the previous season. The award is often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year award and is a huge honor and privilege to be a finalist. This years finalists include Manuel Neuer, Christiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. The winner will be announced on January 12th 2015, in Zurich.

Ballon D’Or finalists
Lionel Messi: The Four time Ballon D’Or winner has come back to attempt to win his fifth! The argentine is known worldwide for his fantastic style of playing and record breaking stats. In the 2013/14 season, Messi scored twenty-eight goals in thirty-one appearances for his club, FC Barcelona. Messi made his debut for FC Barcelona on October 16, 2004 and has since then won various prestigious awards that have set him aside from other players. In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, Messi won the award for Best Player in the World, and was featured in UEFA team of the year. Messi has continued to break records, and stun viewers of the beautiful game.

Christiano Ronaldo: Recognized worldwide as one of the best players in the game at the moment, Christiano Ronaldo has become an idol to many, and one of the contenders for this year’s Ballon D’Or. The Portuguese striker scored 31 goals in 30 games for his club, and played a crucial part in winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. Due to his stellar season in 2013/14, Ronaldo was named UEFA Best Player in Europe. The Real Madrid superstar won the Ballon D’Or last year, and is on his way to win his next.

Manuel Neuer: After finishing twenty-third in the Ballon D’Or list last year, Manuel Neuer has worked himself up to the top three, which hasn’t been accomplished by a goalkeeper since Gianluigi Buffon in 2006. In League play in 2014, the Bayern Munich goalkeeper allowed 8.5 goals fewer than would be expected based on total shots faced. He is known for redefining the meaning of goalkeeper, and being able to play outside the area. He was also part of the Germany team that won this past World Cup in Brazil!

After taking a poll, people hypothesized that Ronaldo would be the winner of this year’s Ballon D’Or. (A population of 50 was asked)

Ronaldo: 23
Messi: 19
Neuer: 8

Article contributed by: ‎Lissette Becherano

Twitter: @Lizzy_becherano

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