October always brings about the glorious buzz of the release of the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist – where 28 footballers get recognised for their brilliant ability before missing out on the award to either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi at the end of the year.
Now look, let’s not kid anyone – 2017’s Ballon d’Or will not hand a Premier League player the glory. In fact, any of England’s top flight players will consider themselves lucky to even make it into the top three – but where’s the fun in a poll surrounding Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar? Yawn.
Thankfully, the loyal voters that are you guys have helped to perhaps rub the egos of the shortlisted Premier League players (in the unlikely event that any of them would be reading this) by giving them their own little Ballon d’Or award ceremony – and the winner is not what many would expect!
Here’s the Premier League player which you lot would crown as 2017’s Ballon d’Or winner:
Well, well, well, what an interesting turn of events.
So 90min voters would love to see Manchester United’s David de Gea become only the second goalkeeper to ever win football’s most prestigious individual award – the other being the flat-cap wearing wizard that was Russian stopper Lev Yashin, way back in 1963.
When competing with the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Harry Kane, that comes as quite the surprise – although everyone has seen that phenomenal stop the Spaniard pulled off at Anfield a couple of weeks ago.
De Gea’s victory wasn’t without competition, though – with Tottenham superstar Harry Kane coming in at an extremely close second, breathing (or dribbling) down De Gea’s neck. If the maths – which is often questionable – is correct, Kane only received 1,731 less votes than your eventual victor; resulting in a photo finish – De Gea on 46,742; and the Spurs striker coming in with 45,011 votes.
Following up the two leaders to take his place on the final spot of the podium is Manchester City’s assist king, Kevin De Bruyne. After creating the most goals last season, the Belgian has kicked off the new campaign exactly how he ended last term – bagging himself one goal and assisting six.
The 26-year-old has become a hugely influential figure in a Pep Guardiola squad brimming with talent, with many recently dubbing De Bruyne as the best player in the league – perhaps De Gea would have something to say about that after this recent revelation.
In fourth, with 13% of the votes rolls in De Bruyne’s compatriot Eden Hazard – quite possibly the likeliest of all Premier League nominees to win the so-called ‘individual’ award considering his Premier League triumph last season. That’s how it seems to go nowadays, which is why Ronaldo will probably win this year’s, you definitely didn’t hear that here first.
However, it seems you guys don’t feel as though Liverpool’s Sadio Mane deserves much of a shot at the award (his claim would be considered a stretch at best), with the Senegalese winger only just edging that well known Premier League attacker ‘Other’ by 1%.
Only joking, of course. The ‘other’ category could be anyone – it would be nice to assume that you would all love to watch Joe Allen claim the trophy – regardless of however unlikely that will ever be. A man can dream.