90min Editors Pick Their 2020 Ballon d’Or Rankings

Lewandowski was the heavy favourite for the Ballon d'Or.
Lewandowski was the heavy favourite for the Ballon d’Or. | TF-Images/Getty Images

France Football have announced that the Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year, and we at 90min think that is a damn shame.

Obviously the pandemic’s disruption of the football calendar is a fairly fair reason as to why it’s not being handed out, but still, we feel sorry for big Robert Lewandowski. The guy who has scored (roughly) a trillion goals in 2020. He deserves a ball-shaped prize for that.

So, as some sort of consolation prize for Lewa, 90min‘s editorial team have decided to do our own 2020 Ballon d’Or rankings – and inevitably pick the Bayern Munich forward as the winner of our…Ballon papier-mâché award.

Robert LewandowskiRobert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski has been outstanding this year | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

1. Robert Lewandowski

2. Thomas Muller

3. Karim Benzema

4. Kevin De Bruyne

5. Lionel Messi

A Bayern top two for me this year for a pretty simple reason: Bayern Munich are the best team in the world in 202,0 and Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller have been their best performers.

In 2020 alone, Lewandowski has scored (exactly) 21 goals and assisted a further four, while Muller has only gone and broken the Bundesliga record for most assists in a single season.

That’s pretty, pretty good.

Elsewhere in my top five we have Karim Benzema, who seemed hell-bent on breaking the internet with backheels in 2020, Kevin De Bruyne, who single-handedly made Man City relatively competent, and Lionel Messi who is, you know, Lionel Messi.

Josip IlicicJosip Ilicic
Josip Ilicic has been outstanding for Atalanta. | UEFA – Handout/Getty Images

1. Robert Lewandowski

2. Lionel Messi

3. Kevin De Bruyne

4. Karim Benzema

5. Josip Ilicic

It feels weird not to put Messi top in a season where’s he’s reached a new statistical madness (25 goals and 21 assists in the league!) but Robert Lewandowski has been…yeesh.

He scored more than 50 goals! He was better than a goal a game in every competition! He might very well add the Champions League to his 2020!

Yeah, Robert Lewandowski has been the best player in the world this year. KdB’s been excellent, Benzema’s finally been the man, and Ilicic…well, someone from Atalanta needed to get in and he’s the most fun.

Kevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne has been exceptional this season despite Man City’s woes | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

1. Robert Lewandowski

2. Sergio Ramos

3. Lionel Messi

4. Kevin De Bruyne

5. Virgil van Dijk

It’s got to be big Robert Lewandowski for top spot, right?

He was unmatched before and after lockdown, scoring more than a goal a game in the Bundesliga for an electric Bayern Munich side.

Sergio Ramos deserves enormous recognition for his role in Real Madrid’s La Liga title win, so while Lionel Messi was his usual brilliant self, his performances in a dodgy Barcelona team are only good enough for third place.

Kevin De Bruyne continues to improve with every passing season and his fourth spot is fully justified, and Liverpool need some representation after a brilliant Premier League campaign, so Virgil van Dijk makes up the top five.


Jordan HendersonJordan Henderson
Henderson captained Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years. | Pool/Getty Images

1. Robert Lewandowski

2. Sergio Ramos

3. Karim Benzema

4. Kevin De Bruyne

5. Jordan Henderson

When you score 51 goals in 43 games, you’ve basically completed football. The same can be said for those who have won eight Bundesliga titles – including six in a row – and five kicker Torjägerkanone (that’s Golden Boot awards win for me and you). Only one man has done that and that’s my mate Robert Lewandowski. What a guy.

Sergio Ramos has scored more La Liga goals in a single season (11) than he’s ever done before in his career, helping Real Madrid claim a 34th league title. He also has a wonderful beard, is rocking glowing 12-pack abs and continues to be a genius sh*thouse. Need I say more?

Few players who have played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo have got the credit they deserve. One of those who’s been sawn off is Gareth Bale, and another is Karim Benzema – who for the best part of decade has been bloody brilliant for Real Madrid. All it needed for the Frenchman to take centre stage was Zinedine Zidane at the helm and CR7 to do one for him to become the third best player in the world.

Manchester City haven’t been as great as they normally are, but that sentence doesn’t apply to a magnificent ginger haired Belgian known as Kevin De Bruyne. Yep, KDB has actually improved this season – which you’d have thought is borderline impossible given his immense technical ability.

And rounding off my top five is a certain Liverpool captain.

Just incase you’ve been living under a rock, Liverpool have won a first top-flight title in 30 years and first ever Premier League crown. It’s not been all about Mo Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino this year, and nor has it been all about Virgil van Dijk. Instead, it’s been all about the consistent displays of captain fantastic Jordan Henderson. And boy, has he been fantastic.

Lionel MessiLionel Messi
Messi’s worst season in a decade and he was still better than pretty much everyone else | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

1. Robert Lewandowski

2. Lionel Messi

3. Kevin De Bruyne

4. Karim Benzema

5. Casemiro

As much as I’d like to choose someone else for variety, Lewandowski is the obvious choice whichever way you swing it. Meanwhile, Messi’s ‘bad’ year has still yielded 15 goals and 14 assists, in a proper shambles of a team too.

Because it’s hard to isolate just one Liverpool player – and most did their best work pre-lockdown anyway – De Bruyne is probably the Premier League’s leading candidate so far.

Benzema has obviously been superb for Real Madrid, but often overlooked is the role of Casemiro, who (forget Ramos) is this team’s key cog.

Using the following scoring system:

1st = 5 points.

2nd = 4 points.

3rd = 3 points.

2nd = 2 points.

5th = 1 point.

Here they, are the definitive, the correct, the undisputed 2019 Ballon d’Or rankings, as voted for by the 90min editorial team:

1. Robert Lewandowski (25 pts)

2. Karim Benzema (13 pts)

3. Kevin De Bruyne (12 pts)

4. Lionel Messi (12 pts)

5. Sergio Ramos (8 pts)


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