The Ballon d'Or is the most prestigious individual award a footballer can win. Check out historical trend data to track the odds of the current favourites as well read up on history of the award.
The Ballon d’Or is expected to return after an absence in 2020 and some of the usual suspects are shaping up as early favourites already. Our Ballon d’Or odds page offers the latest odds and a look at the current favourites, showing how each participant’s chances have been rated by the bookies since the end of the trade deadline.
We also track the following betting markets – take a look to see current odds and trends over time:
11th October – The 30-name shortlist is revealed but it does not affect Lionel Messi’s position as the clear favourite; the Argentine maintains a 56.66% lead over his nearest rival Robert Lewandowski. Jorginho’s pivotal role in both Italy’s and Chelsea’s European triumphs this summer means he comes in at third, while N’golo Kanté’s stellar performances over the last 12 months means he is fourth-favourite.
13th July – Odds are shortened significantly on Lionel Messi, after Argentina win the Copa America final. Betting opens on Ciro Immobile and Jorginho after Italy win the Euro 2020 final.
5th July – Bookies shorten odds on Lionel Messi and Harry Kane after both score three goals to fire their nations to the Copa America and Euro semi-finals, respectively. Odds are lengthened on previous favourite Kylian Mbappe, after his penalty shootout miss sees France eliminated from Euro 2020. Bookies also lengthen odds on Bruno Fernandes after he is dropped to the bench during Portugal’s unsuccessful defence of the European Championship.
7th June – Betting opens on N’Golo Kante after his man of the match performances for Chelsea en route to their Champions League triumph. Odds are lengthened on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar as PSG are eliminated in the Champions League semi-final and are pipped to the Ligue 1 title by Lille.
4th May – No significant changes.
29th April – Odds shorten on Kevin de Bruyne as his goal fires Manchester City to a first leg semi-final victory over PSG. Odds are shortened on Mbappe despite this loss.
22nd April – Kylian Mbappe is the bookies’ favourite to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or, as PSG are still in contention for the Champions League, Ligue 1 and Coupe de France.
About the data
We monitor trends in odds on key markets of interest by tracking a range of UK and international bookmakers. The update frequency varies, but is clearly shown on all our tables and charts. After fetching odds direct from bookies, we convert them to implied probability to make them easier to manage (read more on implied probability and converting from fractional to % probability). We then take the mean average implied probability to get a consensus view across the betting industry. This average implied probability is what we show on our charts and tables.
L’Equipe, the organiser of the Ballon d’Or, has decided not to award a 2020 edition of the prestigious trophy due to the outbreak of COVID-19 that disrupted competitions across the world. Pascal Ferré, editor-in-chief of France Football, said:
“There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met. We believe that such a singular year cannot —and should not— be treated as an ordinary one.”
“From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge; without forgetting that the other games were played —or will be played— in unordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final 8 played in a single game).”
Per Ferré, the awarding of the Ballon d’Or is set to resume in 2021.
Here are some of the contenders that were considered for the 2020 award:
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich & Poland)
Sadio Mané (Liverpool & Senegal)
Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool &Netherlands)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt)
Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain & Brazil)
Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain & France)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus & Portugal)
Instead of the four usual winners (men and women Ballon d’Or, Kopa and Yachine Trophies), France Football will designate 11 players at the end of the year and establish an all-time team chosen by the usual Ballon d’Or jury.
Ballon d'Or in a Nutshell
Everything You Need to Know About the Ballon d’Or
Let’s take a look at what the Ballon d’Or is, how it’s decided and who has won it in the past.
Ballon d’Or History
The Ballon d’Or is an annual award presented by France Football to the best performing footballer over the past calendar year. The award is generally considered the highest individual honour a football player can receive. The first Ballon d’Or was awarded in 1956 to Stanley Matthews.
From 2010 to 2015 the Ballon d’Or was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year Award, though it is now once again independently awarded by France Football. Since 2018 an award has also been presented to the best female player, the Ballon d’Or Feminin.
Ballon d’Or Voting
The Ballon d’Or winner is chosen from 30 nominees by a panel of journalists. The 30-man shortlist is chosen by the editorial staff of France Football, and then an international jury of journalists from a number of different nations vote for the winner. Each country has one representative journalist. A full ranking of all nominees is given during the ceremony before the winner is announced.
Each journalist selects their top five best players, with six points going to the first selection, four to the second, three to the third, two to the fourth and one to the player listed in fifth. The voting is based on set criteria, which are considered in the following order:
Individual and collective performances from the past year
Player class, which France Football defines as “talent and fair play”
The player’s overall career
Ballon d’Or Winners
For the majority of its history, the Ballon d’Or produced a wide variety of winners, with a new player taking the prize most years. However, from 2008-2017 the award was shared exclusively between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, both winning a record five each whilst playing for La Liga clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.
Real Madrid’s Luke Modric broke that stronghold by winning the 2018 award, and though both Ronaldo and Messi are still in contention, the award is now much more open than it has been for most of the past decade.
Lionel Messi was named 2019 FIFA Player of the Year, beating Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Barcelona forward won a record sixth Ballon d Or title.
Picking a winner
How to Make the Most Informed Bet
Most recent Ballon d’Or winners have won by a wide margin, with the last three winners gaining at least 200 more votes than second place. However, that doesn’t mean picking a winner is easy, so it’s important to do your research before betting on the Ballon d’Or.
It’s important to remember that award doesn’t simply go to whoever scores the most goals. Individual performances in certain tournaments and trophies won by a player are also big factors.
For example, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo recorded much more impressive numbers, Luka Modric’s 2018 win was largely put down to his performances during the 2018 World Cup. Modric led an unfancied Croatia to an unprecedented final, while Messi and Ronaldo both struggled to make an impact on the world’s biggest football competition.
This means its important to carefully consider each candidates achievements from the past year and pay close attention to the Ballon d’Or odds.
Yes. Some of the best sports betting sites have welcome bonuses and promotions such as free bets that you can use to bet on the Ballon d’Or. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to meet the minimum odds requirement, and your winnings may also be subject to wagering requirements. Always read the terms and conditions before claiming a betting bonus.
Sure. All the UK betting sites on our list have mobile optimised websites, so you can sign up and do your Ballon d’Or betting on your smartphone. Some of the best bookies also have mobile apps which make mobile betting faster, more convenient and have push notifications to alert you to the latest promotions.
This depends on where you live. The 2018 ceremony was broadcast on US, Canadian and French TV, but not on UK TV. There was no official YouTube stream either. Streams and channels hosting the event will be announced before the ceremony takes place.
No. If two or more players receive an equal amount of votes, the award goes to the player which was selected in the first place the most times. If this is not decisive, it goes to the number of second and then third places. If this still desn’t decide things, a new round of voting takes place between the tied players.
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Ben is deputy editor at Compare.bet, specialising in all things gambling and football. He has an MA in American History and extensive writing experience with bylines in a range of different publications, from Breaking the Lines to CLASH. As well as covering Premier League for Compare.bet news, he also writes about the Championship and a range of European football topics. In his spare time, Ben enjoys music production and playing football.
Daniel is the editor-in-chief at Compare.bet. He has half a decade of experience writing on topics including sports betting, online casino and the NBA. Daniel also covers Premier League football for Compare.bet news and has interviewed Louis Saha, Richard Dunne and Gary Pallister. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys film photography and making Spotify playlists.