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Messi, Ronaldo knocked off the Ballon d’Or podium places



Following Argentina’s disappointing campaign at the World Cup in Russia, Lionel Messi’s chances of lifting the Ballon d’Or have decreased rapidly.The Barcelona forward started the tournament as the third favourite to claim the award, only behind eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.

Now the tournament has ended the shape of the top three has changed drastically. Luka Modric, named the best player at the World Cup, and Kylian Mbappe, named the best young player, have knocked Messi and Salah down the rankings.

Modric is now the second favourite behind Cristiano with Mbappe in third.

Messi is fourth favourite with the bookmakers. Curiously, despite an early exit with Portugal, the odds of Cristiano winning the award have shortened even further.

There is still time for Messi to get himself back in the top three and even land himself the trophy for the sixth time. Once he’s over a disappointing World Cup, a strong start to next season could revitalise his case.

De Bruyne, Kane, Neymar, Varane and Hazard round out the Top 10 places with the bookmakers.