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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021

Open thread: Who will be the player to finally break the Messi/Ronaldo grip on the Ballon d'Or?

We’ve been arguing about this in the office.

Image: Francisco Seco

THIS YEAR – FOR the ninth in a row — one of football’s iconic rivals has taken home the Ballon d’Or.

The Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi duopoly stretches back to 2008 when the Portuguese picked up the first of his four awards.

Messi has earned a record five since.

Ronaldo will ring in the year as a European champion with club and country but his powers are — arguably — on the wane and he may not pick up the prize again.

Messi will turn 30 next year and may call time on his international career — again — after the World Cup in 18 months’ time.

Kaka was the last player not named Messi or Ronaldo to take foootball’s highest individual honour. But who’ll be the next?

Will Gareth Bale make the breakthrough? Will Manuel Neuer pick up one for a long successful career, like De Niro’s long-overdue Oscar nod.

Do you fancy a bolter like Pogba or Griezmann?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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