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Ballon d’Or Odds Now Favor Lewandowski at -125, Just Ahead of Messi at -110

Paul Attfield

by Paul Attfield in Soccer

Nov 19, 2021 · 7:11 AM PST

Robert Lewandowski
Bayern's Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal during the Champions League group E soccer match between Bayern Munich and Benfica Lisbon in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
  • Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski favored to win his first Ballon d’Or on November 29
  • Six-time winner Lionel Messi is second favorite to add to that haul at -110
  • Read on for a look at all the odds for the Ballon d’Or, a look at some contenders and a best bet

If it hadn’t been for the pandemic, Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski might well be the -125 favorite to be crowned the best player in the world for a second straight year. But the 2020 award was cancelled, and so whoever wins on November 29 will be the first recipient of the prize award since Lionel Messi took home the gong in 2019.

Messi is right in the running too, with the six-time winner slightly back of Lewandowski at -110. The now Paris Saint-Germain forward has been leading in the Ballon d’Or odds for much of the last few months, but Lewandowski’s form this season, which has seen him score 28 goals in 23 starts for club and country, has seen him edge in front of the Argentine standout.

Ballon d’Or Odds

Player Odds
Robert Lewandowski -125
Lionel Messi -110
Karim Benzema +2200
Mohamed Salah +2500
Jorginho +2800
N’Golo Kante +5000
Kevin De Bruyne +5000
Cristiano Ronaldo +5000
Romelu Lukaku +6500
Kylian Mbappe +6500
Neymar +6500
Gianluigi Donnarumma +6500
Bruno Fernandes +6500
Simon Kjaer +6500
Harry Kane +6500
Erling Haaland +10000
Giorgio Chiellini +10000
Lautaro Martinez +10000
Luka Modric +10000
Phil Foden +10000

Odds as of November 19th at DraftKings

Lewandowski’s Pole Position

Few players in the history of world soccer have ever found the back of the net with the regularity and consistency of Lewandowski. Poland’s record international goal scorer with 74 goals, Lewandowski scored 47 goals throughout 2020, but has been even better this year, so far finding the net a staggering 62 times in all.

That prolific goal-scoring streak saw him eclipse Gerd Muller’s Bundesliga goal-scoring record of 41 back in May, on his way to spearheading Bayern’s successful quest for a ninth straight German title.

And although Bayern Munich didn’t manage to successfully defend their Champions League title, Lewandowski still scored six goals in six starts in last season’s competition as his club exited at the quarter-final stage against PSG.

And he also broke through at Euro 2020, held this year because of the pandemic, scoring three goals in three appearances, but it wasn’t enough to help Poland through to the knockout rounds.

Messi Aims for Seven

Barcelona, the club team Messi had played for since he was 13, may have been in disarray for most of 2021, ultimately leading to the forward’s summer move to PSG, but Argentina, the international team he represents, reached heights it hadn’t achieved since 1993.

La Albiceleste took home its first Copa America title in 28 years last summer, with Messi leading the way with four goals to finish as joint-top goal scorer, as he picked up his first senior international title in the process. That breakthrough alone should stand him in good stead with the Ballon d’Or voters, as for the longest time Messi was seen as someone who just couldn’t lead his team to glory in the international arena.

And he wasn’t exactly a slouch on the domestic front either. Though Barcelona ended the season third in the league and knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16, Messi still finished the season with 38 goals for Barcelona in all competitions. One can only wonder where they would have finished without him.

Best of the Rest

The other contenders, such as Karim Benzema, Mohamad Salah or Jorginho, who was named UEFA men’s player of the year after leading Chelsea to Champions League glory, are all very much outside bets at this point.

Benzema may have the leading case to make, helping Real Madrid stay in contention for the Spanish title until the last day of the season thanks to his 23 league goals, and another six to help Madrid to the Champions League semifinals for the first time since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. But with odds of +2200, even a boisterous campaign by some sections of the Spanish media to boost his chances may not be enough to close the gap with the front two.

Ballon d’Or Best Bet

After missing out in 2020, there was certain amounts of sympathy levelled towards Lewandowski’s unfortunate timing to have his season for the ages during a pandemic. Never one to let an obstacle get in his way, the Pole duly followed up with an even better season, and should get his reward here, denying Messi a seventh Ballon d’Or โ€ฆ for at least one more year anyway.

Pick: Lewandowski (-125)

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