Betting The Ballon d’Or: Who Is The Greatest Player Of 2015?



Few honors in sports carry the international clout as the Ballon d’or – which recognizes the top soccer player in the world. This award has been dominated by two men in recent years: Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi won four Ballon d’or trophies (2009-2012) and Ronaldo has swept the past two years with a Player of the Year honor also coming in 2008.

Will 2015 be any different? The award isn’t handed out until January, so there is plenty of time for an underdog to push their way into the conversation. Here’s a look at the front runners – and their odds – to win the 2015 Ballon d’or before you make any sports betting picks:

Lionel Messi (1/6): 

The price is high on Messi, who despite missing most of the club season with a torn MCL did enough work before the injury to garner the favorite spot. He opened 2015 with a turnaround in La Liga, teaming with Luis Suárez and Neymar in a star-studded attack to carry Barcelona to the league title. He followed that with a Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League title, making Barca the first European team in history to win the treble twice. He finished with 58 goals in 2014-15 and had six in nine games before the knee injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo (5/1):

At this price and with Messi missing a good part of the 2015 campaign, Ronaldo could be the most live underdog on the planet. The Real Madrid superstar has some notable records on his resume this year, including his 500th goal for club and country as well as becoming the all-time leading scorer in Champions League play, pushing ahead of Messi with 80 goals to his rival’s 77. Ronaldo has eight goals in 11 apps for Real Madrid this season, and has them second behind Barcelona in the table.

Robert Lewandowski (14/1):

It would only make sense that the one player being compared the Messi and Ronaldo the most is the third overall favorite on the Ballon d’or list. The Bayern Munich star helped lead the club to another Bundesliga title at the beginning of 2015 and has exploded for 14 goals in just 11 apps so far in the 2015-16 campaign – giving him a total of 31 goals in his 42 games since coming over from Borussia Dortmund. However, inner turmoil with fellow Bayern star Arjen Robben has prompted plenty of transfer rumors, including a move to Real Madrid to team with Ronaldo

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