Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were predicted as the two finalists for the 2020 Ballon d’Or late last year.
Barcelona captain Messi, 32, broke his Ballon d’Or deadlock with Ronaldo last December when he captured his record-breaking sixth award.
Following France Football’s ceremony for the 2019 Ballon d’Or, Bleacher Report made an early prediction for who would be the top 10 finalists for the coveted award.
The publication predicted that Messi would capture an unprecedented seventh Ballon d’Or by the end of 2020.
Bleacher said at the time that Messi remains the “beating heart of Barcelona’s attack, the one they look to, and the one who always delivers.”
The publication added that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner still had the chance to bring the Champions League title back to the Camp Nou.
And Messi could further strengthen his case for France Football’s prize by capturing his first major international piece of silverware at the Copa America, which has since been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ronaldo, who finished third in the 2019 Ballon d’Or rankings, won Serie A and the Italian Super Cup in his debut season at Juventus.
But Bleacher said that domestic success in Italy wouldn’t be enough for the 35-year-old Portuguese superstar to land the 2020 Ballon d’Or outright.
According to the publication, Ronaldo’s “only hope of winning the 2020 Ballon d’Or is to win the Champions League with Juventus and/or Euro 2020 with Portugal.”
Posted below are Bleacher’s predictions for the 10 finalists for the 2020 Ballon d’Or.
10. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich
9. Eden Hazard, Real Madrid
8. Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain
7. Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City
6. Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain
5. Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona
4. Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
3. Sadio Mane, Liverpool
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus
1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona