By the time you read this piece, the Ballon d’Or 2014 will have already been presented to the eventual winner; the three nominees up for this year’s award being Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Ribery.
A law unto themselves, I would be loath to try and second guess FIFA on the winner of this particular award. Taking nothing away from Messi, it’s common knowledge that the little Argentinian is the apple of Sepp Blatter’s eye and despite his less-than-stellar season compared to previous years, you simply wouldn’t be that shocked if he did win it.
That being said, FIFA, strangely, re-opened the voting process after the World Cup Play-offs in which Ronaldo singlehandedly fired Portugal to the finals in Brazil this summer. Second favourite for the award beforehand, he is now red-hot favourite for the title and after an individual season of phenomenal goal-scoring feats you just couldn’t begrudge him the award he hasn’t won since 2008.
Frank Ribery is also a deserving nominee as, arguably, the star of the all-conquering Bayern side of last season. Much like trying to predict this year’s Oscar for best film, I’ll be steering well clear.