As the Ballon d’Or date draws near, the sport world is already betting away on who will make it to the top 5. Samuel Eto’o also has his predictions. Instead of who will make it to the top, the player focused on who will not. And when a football icon like Samuel Eto’o speaks, we ought to listen.
In his opinion, the former Barca and Inter Milan star predicts that Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not make it to the top five despite being the top scorers in the Premier League. The legend went on to lament on how talented African footballers are underrated.
Liverpool duo Mo Salah and Sadio Mane along with Arsenal’s Aubameyang all netted 22 league goals making them the top scorers. While we could assume that the three would naturally be shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or following their good stats this season, Eto’o predicts otherwise. He points out that although Messi and CR7 are favorites, this season they were outshone by the African players.
The Cameroonian footballer was also never nominated for the annual French award despite the many titles and goals he had scored during his 22 year career. Eto’o has recently ended his successful career. He holds a number of records one of them being top scorer in the African Cup of Nations.
With these claims, we may start to question the criteria that the awarding follows. The award is based on individual as well as collective performances, player class and the player’s career.
Additionally, a jury of football journalists (from different countries) vote and award points. These points are then added to the shortlisted players, the player with the highest score is the winner. For a change, we hope to see new faces this Ballon d’Or.