Jamie Carragher insists FOUR stars are in the running to win next year’s Ballon d’Or – while Micah Richards tips one player to scoop EVERY trophy going… only if they move to Real Madrid
- Real Madrid has a strong hold on the trophy with six winners in the last 10 years
- The pundits also stressed the importance of national team glory at Euro 2024
- Can Liverpool challenge for the title? Listen to the debate on It’s All Kicking Off
Jamie Carragher, Thierry Henry, and Micah Richards weighed in with early predictions for the 2024 Ballon d’Or winner just a week after this year’s iteration was awarded in Paris.
Lionel Messi took him a record eighth honour at Theatre du Chatelet, with Aitana Bonmati collecting his first ever Women’s Ballon d’Or, and Jude Bellingham scooping the Kopa Trophy for most talented under-21 player.
But ahead of CBS’ Champions League coverage, the pundits were already looking ahead to the future as the trio discussed the odds on next year’s winner on Wednesday evening.
As per odds collected by the US broadcaster, Jude Bellingham is the current frontrunner to take home the prestigious award, with Kylian Mbappe second favourite, followed by this year’s runner-up Erling Haaland.
England captain Harry Kane rounded out the top four, just ahead of the Argentina star currently in possession of the golden ball.
Jude Bellingham is considered the frontrunner for next year’s Ballon d’Or trophy by CBS
This year’s runner-up Erling Haaland could be held back by his national team’s poor record
Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards argued that Real Madrid was a crucial breeding ground for serial Ballon d’Or winners
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When asked if he thought Bellingham could become the first English player since Michael Owen to be honoured by UEFA and France Football, Carragher claimed that ‘he could be’, with his choice of domestic club playing a key role in his chances.
‘He plays for a club who have got a great opportunity of winning the European cup,’ Carragher said of Real Madrid, who Bellingham joined in a £113million deal in June.
The former Liverpool star also tipped Bellingham, and his compatriot Kane, for a strong chance based on how the Three Lions fare in next summer’s Euro 2024.
‘Along with France, Kylian Mbappe would have a great opportunity as well, and who knows? He’s playing for a team that have a great opportunityt to win the Champions League also,’ Carragher continued. ‘But out of those top four names right now, I think it would be really difficult for Haaland to win it because of the country he plays for.
‘Unless maybe Manchester City do another treble, or he’s amazing in the Champions League again. The other players I’ve just mentioned have probably got another opportunity with the tournament in the summer.’
Henry was in agreement, with the France icon adding that is was ‘difficult for Mo Salah.’
‘Although you’re going to have the African Cup of Nations, but people watch the Euros. The impact of the Euro (competition) is different, the impact of the World Wup is different. So, ust because it’s a big tournament, if you perform, and you had a great season, it’s over.’
Richards, however, was keen to ‘just enjoy’ the ‘magnificent’ names at the top of the standings, adding gleefully: ‘We’ve got them for the next 10, 15 years, who knows!’
But the former Man City was definitive when he stated: If (Mbappe) is at Real Madrid, he takes the lot. If he’s at Real Madrid, remember, Meeks said, he takes the lot.
Richards explained that whilst Mbappe has a fighting chance if he wins the European Championships with France in Germany in 2024, a move to Real Madrid would see the talented Paris Saint-Germain win ‘everything, for the next 10 years’
In the last 10 years, only four of the honourees have not been from Real Madrid, with the two players shattering the dominance between Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi both team-mates of the Al-Nassr star: Karim Benzema, in 2022, and Luka Modric in 2018.
Mbappe’s future has been the subject of much speculation over the past three years, with Real Madrid making no secret of their attempts to lure the forward to the Bernabeu.
Kylian Mbappe could yet leave Paris Saint-Germain to join Real Madrid as a free agent during next summer’s transfer window
The France captain (centre, white t-shirt) was briefly frozen out by the Ligue 1 champions at the start of the season for refusing to sign a new deal but was invited back into the fold
The France captain is believed to be plotting a move to LaLiga from the Parisian giants at the end of the season, upon the expiration of his contract.
But the Qatar-backed club will be loath to let their superstar leave without compensation, and are keen to tie Mbappe to an extension.
Last week, however, Real Madrid released an extraordinary statement that stressed that they were not in talks with the PSG man, and dubbed claims on the matter ‘completely false’.
The club said: ‘Given the information recently issued and published by different media outlets, in which there is speculation about alleged negotiations between the player Kylian Mbappe and our club, Real Madrid CF would like to state that this information is completely false and that no such negotiations have taken place. with a player who belongs to PSG.’
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