Robin van Persie names his Ballon d’Or top three

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 20: Robin van Persie of Feyenoord celebrates 2-1 during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Feyenoord v AZ Alkmaar at the Stadium Feijenoord on April 20, 2019 in Rotterdam Netherlands (Photo by
Van Persie named his Ballon d’Or top three (Picture: Soccrates/Getty Images)

Robin van Persie named the three players he believes deserves to be on the podium for the Ballon d’Or, and snubbed both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The former Arsenal and Manchester United striker believes Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski should win football’s most coveted individual prize.

Premier League duo Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane, of Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, are the other players to make his top three.

Should Van Persie’s list come to fruition, it would be the first time since 2006 that neither Messi nor Ronaldo finished in the top three.

Since 2007 only Luka Modric (2018) has won the award ahead of the duo.

Lewandowski, De Bruyne and Mane have never finished inside the top three.

Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring during the German Cup (DFB Pokal) final football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on July 4, 2020.
Lewandowski has been in great form (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Lewandowski has been in ridiculous form this season.

The Bayern Munich striker has scored 52 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions, helping his side to win the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal while they are still in contention for the Champions League next month.

He is the top scorer in European competition, having scored 11 times in six Champions League matches, and no one in Europe’s top-five leagues has matched his 34-goal tally.

De Bruyne has scored 11 times and provided 18 assists in the Premier League this season.

His side, Manchester City, have won the League Cup, are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and still in contention for the Champions League.

Mane helped end Liverpool’s 30-year title drought by scoring 16 times and providing seven assists while he won the Club World Cup, but Jurgen Klopp’s men are not in contention for any more trophies this season, having failed to defend the Champions League and losing in both domestic cup competitions.

Sadio Mane of Liverpool is challenged by Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England.
Mane and De Bruyne make up Van Persie’s top three (Picture: Getty)

Messi could end up trophyless, with Barcelona trailing Real Madrid in La Liga, although he will hope to inspire his side to Champions League victory. He has netted 22 goals and provided 19 assists in La Liga alone this season.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, will likely win Serie A with Juventus, having scored more goals for the club in a single season than any player in 60 years.

He has banged in 26 goals in 27 Serie A matches and the Italian giants remain in contention to win the Champions League.

Whoever wins Europe’s top club prize could take a massive step forwards to winning the Ballon d’Or, but Van Persie thinks Lewandowski is the man who should get his hands on the trophy.

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