Barcelona gem has great precedents for late Ballon D’or charge

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Spain's forward #19 Lamine Yamal gestures during the UEFA Euro 2024 quarter-final football match between Spain and Germany at the Stuttgart Arena in Stuttgart on July 5, 2024.
Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

FC Barcelona and the Ballon d’Or have a special connection with each other. The Catalan club, with 12 winners, is the side with the most Ballon d’Or winners in history. It is almost expected, since in almost every generation, Barcelona tends to be blessed with some kind of generational talent.

In the previous generation, that player was Lionel Messi and that was a revelation worthy of making football history. The Argentinian icon, now also a FIFA World Cup winner, won a record eight Ballon d’Ors and will likely retain that record for a long time.

However, there is now a different name that continues to serve as the poster boy of FC Barcelona and the club’s future. Lamine Yamal, aged just 16, is the sensation who is breaking records everywhere for both club and now his country as well.

Yet, his recent performances in the European Championship have kindled a unique excitement among fans. They now wonder if the Barcelona sensation and the hero of Spain has a potential shot of winning the Ballon d’Or himself at the tender age of 17, given that he will celebrate his birthday before the ceremony itself.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Yamal certainly has some set precedents to look back at in order to give himself and the fans of both Barcelona and Spain some hope. He would not be the first player to be potentially considered for the Ballon d’Or simply on the basis of an excellent campaign in any given international tournament.

Many great names in the past have not only been considered but have also won the award based on their international accomplishments in any given year. MD highlights the case of the 1986 winner, Igor Belanov, who earned the award due to his exceptional performances in that year’s FIFA World Cup, where he scored four goals.

Another name that has been mentioned is that of German icon Matthias Sammer who won the 1996 version of the Ballon d’Or. His exceptional performances in the 1996 European Championship earned him the title of the best player in that specific tournament, and he would then be awarded the Ballon d’Or as well.

Even recently, former Barcelona icon Lionel Messi set a great precedent for them. By winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup in an exceptional manner, the Argentinian legend won the Ballon d’Or that season as well despite not achieving absurd amounts of success at the club level.

For now, Yamal’s direct competitors will likely be Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Jr. The latter, for his rather disappointing run in the Copa America, may end up being eliminated as a favorite. Bellingham, however, still remains in the Euros and still has a chance to reach the final and take on Yamal’s Spain, so his chance still remains strong.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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