The Next 10 Winners Of The Ballon d'Or Were Predicted Back in 2012
Bleacher Report predicted the next 10 Ballon d'Or winners back in 2012 and it's safe to say they didn't expect Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's domination.
Since 2010, longtime rivals Ronaldo and Messi have won the Ballon d'Or every year apart from 2018, which saw Luka Modric get the nod.
The predictions did feature wins for the duo, but 2013 marked Messi's final Ballon d'Or with Ronaldo's coming in 2014.
Check out the predictions below, along with the actual results of that year's Ballon d'Or vote.
Prediction: Lionel Messi
Result: Lionel Messi
Prediction: 1.) Lionel Messi, 2.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 3.) Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Result: 1.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 2.) Lionel Messi, 3.) Franck Ribery
Prediction: 1.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 2.) Sergio Aguero, 3.) Mario Balotelli
Result: 1.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 2.) Lionel Messi, 3.) Manuel Neuer
Prediction: 1.) Mesut Ozil, 2.) Karim Benzema, 3.) Gareth Bale
Result: 1.) Lionel Messi, 2.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 3.) Neymar
Prediction: 1.) Mario Balotelli, 2.) Gonzalo Higuain, 3.) Eden Hazard
Result: 1.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 2.) Lionel Messi, 3.) Antoine Griezmann
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Prediction: 1.) Eden Hazard, 2.) Thomas Muller, 3.) Aaron Ramsey
Result: 1.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 2.) Lionel Messi, 3.) Neymar
Prediction: 1.) Neymar, 2.) Marco Reus, 3.) Leandro Damiao
Result: 1.) Luka Modric, 2.) Cristiano Ronaldo, 3.) Antoine Griezmann
Prediction: 1.) Oscar, 2.) Jack Wilshere, 3.) Neymar
Result: 1.) Lionel Messi, 1.) Virgil van Dijk, 3.) Cristiano Ronaldo
Prediction: 1.) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 2.) Lucas Moura, 3.) Mario Gotze
Prediction: 1.) Iker Muniain, 2.) Thiago Alcantara, 3.) Souleymane Coulibaly
NUMBER OF CORRECT PREDICTED WINNERS: 2/10
A few of these predictions seemed spot on at the time, while some of them will leave fans scratching their head.
Two of the most likely predictions were Eden Hazard and Neymar.
Both men had burst onto the world scene in 2012, with Hazard sealing a move to Chelsea and Neymar moving to Barcelona one year later.
Hazard and Neymar now find themselves at Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and have achieved huge success in their careers.
However, the ability of Messi and Ronaldo has seen them continue to outshine the 'next generation'.
Bizarre names in the predictions include Leandro Damiao coming third in 2018, as well as Iker Muniain winning it in 2021.
It just goes to show how quickly football can change and how a new superstar can be born.
What bizarre predictions have you had for Ballon d'Or winners?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Footy Renders
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