Neymar Junior has been shortlisted for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or award alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Neymar Celebrate 1810
Neymar has been in a superb form this year.

While the debate on who is currently the world’s best footballer between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi rages on, a certain Brazilian by the name of Neymar da Silva Santos Junior has staked claim and threatens to break the monopoly at the top.

It’s about time someone ended the monopoly shared by Ronaldo and Messi, who have won almost all accolades there are to win for a world-class footballer.

Neymar has been shortlisted for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or award alongside Ronaldo and Messi. And while many naysayers might still feel that it’s a straight fight between the Portuguese and the Argentine once again, there are still some who look beyond just ‘goals scored’ by a player and believe that the 23-year-old from Brazil deserves the award.

Ronaldo, who has claimed the award in the last two years, will be aiming to win a fourth time, having won in 2008 as well. Messi is looking for a fifth success after sweeping the board between 2009 and 2012.

Kaka 1 MLS All-Stars
Kaka won the Ballon d’Or in 2007.

Kaka, the last Brazilian winner

It was a Brazilian, Kaka, who was the last to win the Ballon d’Or award in 2007 before the start of the Messi-Ronaldo monopoly, and wouldn’t it be poetic justice that another footballer from the land of the Samba, dethrones the duo? (Brazil Legend Ronaldo Backs Neymar to Win Ballon d’Or Award)

After his move from Brazilian club Santos that was embroiled in a transfer fee scandal, Neymar was given a slim chance to carry on his with his trailblazing ways in the more ‘physical’ European football.

Much to the dismay of his critics, the Brazilian hit the ground running, going on to net 14 goals in his first season as Barcelona missed out on the La Liga title on the final day, though Neymar was largely absent for their run-in as a result of injury.

All eyes were on Neymar with Brazil hosting football’s showpiece event, the World Cup in 2014. And he didn’t disappoint his countrymen, scoring four goals in the World Cup. However, his tournament was cut short when he suffered a fractured vertebra during Brazil’s 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Colombia.

With Neymar injured, his importance for the national team came to the fore as Brazil suffered their worst ever World Cup defeat, a 7-1 dismantling against Germany in the semifinals.

Again the naysayers returned with their knives out, giving Neymar little chance to do well in the 2014-15 season after his injury. But once again he proved them wrong! (Luis Suarez Deserves Ballon d’Or Nomination: Messi)

Neymar Barcelona Champions League 2015
Neymar was out of action for almost two months last year due a backbone injury suffered during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Back with a bang from World Cup injury

Neymar returned from the back injury and helped lead Barcelona to a second treble, including 22 goals during the 2014-15 La Liga campaign and the final strike for the Catalans in their 3-1 Champions League final triumph over Italian outfit Juventus.

Messi was once again crowned La Liga’s best player for the 2014-15 season while Neymar was chosen as the best player from the Americas.

This season, however, Neymar has taken it upon himself to sweep all the awards and honours. The Brazilian maestro has relished Messi’s brief absence in the squad through injury, and is currently the top scorer in La Liga with 14 goals, two ahead of Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.

Following the appointment of Rafael Benitez as Real Madrid manager, Ronaldo has fallen off the boil, and is in fourth place with nine goals.

Messi, meanwhile, has struggled due to injury, and managed just four goals.

This could be Neymar’s year with Barcelona comfortably in the lead in La Liga and looking virtually unbeatable in the UEFA Champions League. But this can only happen if the majority of the football world end their love affair with Ronaldo and Messi.

Yes, they might have been the best of the best in the past eight years, when they have swept all the awards, but it’s no more a question of ‘if’ they will be dethroned but rather ‘when’.

[Source:- NDTV NEWS]

By Adam