The Ballon d'Or is the most prestigious player award in all of football, it certainly has a better name than FIFA's own version called 'The Best' award, seriously. But who will be the next Ballon d'Or winner?

For nearly a decade the award has belonged exclusively to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and even when others might have deserved it more they haven't really had a look in.

Of course there's a really good chance that reign of tyranny won't be ending at the end of this calendar year when the next award is handed out.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo's almost definitely winning the Ballon d'Or isn't he? Image: PA Images

If Real Madrid go on to retain La Liga and are the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles then there's almost no way Cristiano Ronaldo won't be winning it again.

But once the two world superstars have stopped being at the top of their game someone else has to win it. Many think that'll be Neymar but Owen Hargreaves has another name.


Is Neymar the next man to win the Ballon d'Or? Image: PA Images

Talking to BT Sport about Borussia Dortmund teenager Ousmane Dembele the former Manchester United midfielder said:

"'I think he has the potential [to win the Ballon d'Or]. I think he's going to be there.

"He has had a remarkable season for Dortmund already - he's had 17 assists in all competitions - and he's been devastating.

"He's magnificent with both feet and so quick, so powerful. Eventually, he's going to be in that Ballon d'Or conversation.

"He's that good a player. Everybody in Germany has been impressed by how talented a player he is at the stage of his career."

Dembele has only been at Borussia Dortmund since moving their last summer after the Bundesliga side won a battle against some of the biggest clubs in Europe to sign him.

The German club were knocked out of the Champions League by Monaco tonight but the young Frenchman has still enhanced his reputation this season.

Who will be the next Ballon d'Or winner?

Ryan Sidle

Synchronised swimming will never be a sport in my eyes!

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