It has been an absolute pleasure watching Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi dominate the footballing world over the last 10 or so years, but who’s next to take the reins? With 1,271 career goals between them (5 more than Man City have managed in their premier league history!), the title of world’s best player is going to be a tough act to follow. I take a look at a few of the future contenders for the most prestigious individual award in ‘the beautiful game’, the Ballon D’or.
Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain, 19)
France’s wonderkid was sure to attract Europe’s biggest clubs after scintillating performances against Manchester City for Monaco in last year’s Champions league round of 16. Being tipped as a future world beater by team-mate Thiago Silva, Mbappé stole the show at only 18-years old scoring two against the newly crowned premier league champions. Now at PSG on loan, he brags a successful first season winning the French league cup and Ligue 1 in his debut season. Unai Emery’s side will be wanting to keep hold of this teenage sensation to fire them to more domestic and European glory.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur, 24)
It’s no secret that Tottenham have produced one of the finest English talents the country has seen in recent years. Kane has scored 103 league goals for Spurs in 148 appearances making him their all-time premier league leading scorer. With the nation’s expectations on his shoulders leading up to the World Cup, the 24-year old has done his confidence no harm scoring 25 goals with five games left this season. He’ll be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of the FA Cup semi-final exit with a strong performance in Russia in the summer.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, 25)
Has there been a better player in the league this season? The Egyptian wizard is the gift that just keeps giving for Liverpool fans and he’s on course to beat the likes of Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez to most goals in a 38-game season. Sitting at the top of the scoring charts, 5 clear of Kane, Salah has deserved the title of PFA player of the year. After brushing City aside in the Champions league, it’s fair to say, ‘Magical Mo’ is just slightly edging it heading into a tough semi-final against Roma.
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig, 22)
A transfer target for both Manchester United and Liverpool, the German young gun has been in fine form on the international stage scoring 7 goals in 12 games for the national side since his debut in March 2017. Currently at RB Leipzig, Werner will be hoping to be the spearhead of Germany’s attack at the World Cup as they look to defend the trophy for the first time since Brazil in 1962. He has the record for the youngest player to have made 150 Bundesliga appearances so he’s not short of first team experience. Surely a bigger club will want his signature during the summer, only time will tell.
Leroy Sane (Manchester City, 22)
An instrumental piece of the puzzle in Man City’s domination this season has been German youngster Leroy Sane. Like Werner, he’ll be looking to show his talent on the big stage come the opening game of the World Cup. Catching the eye of City scouts at 19, Sane’s magical strike against Real Madrid turned him into one of Europe’s most sought after young prospects. He’s certainly hit the ground running in the premier league with his devastating dribbling and high tally of assists. It’s only a matter of time before he’s regarded as one of the world’s best.bookmark me