The age of Messi and Ronaldo in Europe is finally over and so their stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or award may finally be coming to an end.
Then again, that has been said before and Lionel Messi is still the reigning winner as a player in the MLS. But the hope is that it is finally time for younger underdogs to step up and win the popularity contest. Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala is comfortably one of the most high profile wonderkids in the world and therefore inevitably gets sucked into discussions about the Ballon D’or. When asked about his chances by Maximilian Koch, as captured by @iMisSanMia, Musiala doesn’t deny his chances.
“Of course [winning] such an award would be a big honour. As a kid I admired players like Messi who inspired the fans through their game. I’m also trying to bring joy to the fans with my game. If it comes with a Ballon d’Or at some point, I’d be happy. Everything happens as it happens.”
But it just so happens that Musiala is a good friend of another player who is regularly tipped to win the Ballon d’Or in the future, one who has taken La Liga by storm with Real Madrid. Obviously, that’s Jude Bellingham. After Bellingham narrowly beat out Musiala in the race to win the junior popularity contest, are they set to compete for the big boy one? “I’m happy that some experts see that in me and Jude,” Musiala admits, “that’s special with Jude. We are friends and were roommates with the Young Lions, now he’s playing at Real Madrid and I’m playing at Bayern — it’s crazy. Jude is currently doing very well at Real Madrid and I’m happy for him. Generally speaking, individual awards are very linked to the team’s success. If you win many titles with your club and national team, your chances of winning individual awards increase.”
17 goals and 5 assists will help those chances as well. As it stands, Musiala may have some catching up to do with his old friend from the English youth teams.