The Ballon d’Or, football’s most prestigious individual award, has been dominated by two men in the last decade – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But all that changed last year when Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won the prize, breaking the Messi-Ronaldo dominance that was there for 10 years.
Despite the riches of the Premier League, no Premier League player has won the award since Ronaldo won it in 2008 when playing for Manchester United.
But, things could change soon as two teams, Manchester City and Liverpool, could dominate once again, and a few of their players could win the Ballon d’Or in the next 2-3 years.
Let’s take a look at 3 Premier League stars who are likely to win the Ballon d’Or soon:
3 Premier League stars who can win the Ballon d’Or in the future
Virgil van Dijk
No single player has had the kind of influence that Virgil van Dijk has had on a team recently.
The Dutch central defender, who signed from Southampton to Liverpool for a fee of £75 million in the 2018 January transfer window, played a key role in winning the Champions League with the club, while also narrowly losing out to Manchester City in the league.
Liverpool have a great squad and Jürgen Klopp’s side have the strength and the quality to win a lot of titles in the next few years, which will most likely see van Dijk play a major role in the team.
Van Dijk could become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to win the Ballon d’Or if he does win it.
Pep Guardiola has transformed Manchester City into one of the best sides in the world in the three seasons that he has been in English football.
The Catalan has also had another major impact on the growth of players, including English attacker Raheem Sterling.
Sterling has finally come good on his potential, and has had two great seasons, scoring 48 goals and 35 assists in two seasons. The 24-year-old Englishman has age, potential and talent on his side to win the Ballon d’Or in two or three seasons’ time.
One of the key factors for Liverpool’s success in the previous two seasons has been the form of winger Mohamed Salah.
Salah, who returned to the Premier League after a failed spell with Chelsea, hit the ground running, and ended his first season with 44 goals and 16 assists, and the second season with 27 goals and 13 assists.
Liverpool are certain to win more trophies in the next few years, and if Salah does well he could very well hold aloft the Ballon d’Or.