The Ballon D’or Fever is Here! (5/10)

The Ballon D’or Fever is Here! (5/10)
Pavel Penev
Image by Fanny Schertzer. Source: Wikimedia commons



We’re halfway through our analysis. By the end of this article 15 out of the 30 Ballon D’or nominees will have been analyzed. You can check them here.

The best players in the world from defense to attack will contest to be crowned the best player in the world. Bellow you’ll find Portuguese rising stars and a previous winner of the much wanted Ballon D’or.


Bruno Fernandes – POR / Manchester United

28 years old; In 2021: 12 goals; 7 assists;

This is the first nomination ever for the spirited midfielder, who is the best Manchester United player since his move to the Red Devils. This year Bruno Fernandes played in the Europa League final and performed solid throughout the season in the Premier League. The 28 year old player has been nominated alongside his idol and teammate for Portugal and Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo. They are the only two players from Manchester United in the 30-man shortlist this year.



It has been a very effective year for Fernandes and it is easy to recognize this by his on the ball ratings. He has one of the league’s best Delivery and Reception ratings for 2021, accompanied by decent Pass Short. Furthermore, Fernandes is the midfielder who executes most passes per 90 minutes in the league, most crosses, long balls and through balls. A spectacular performance showing how productive and effective the player has been since his arrival. Off the ball, the midfielder’s ratings look below average but his involvement in defending is limited by the coach and that has an effect. Bruno Fernandes’ profile stands out with a great Stability rating, which demonstrates how consistent his performances have been over the year. All in all solid efficiency and deserved first nomination for the 28 year old playmaker.

Lionel Messi – ARG / Paris-SG
In 2021: Won Copa America & Copa del Rey; 40 goals, 14 assists.

Leo Messi is the absolute number one in Ballon d’Or history, a six time winner and top contender for the award this year. Nobody could have predicted how 2021 would turn around for Messi after his good start. Even though Barcelona could not triumph with the La Liga title or Champions League, Messi’s performance was magnificent, and they still managed to put their hands on silverware by winning the Copa del Rey. Meanwhile, the virtuoso earned his record-breaking eighth Pichichi trophy (for top goalscorer in La Liga). At international level Messi carried his team and triumphed with the long-awaited Copa America. However, everything changed when Messi got back from the international break. Barcelona did not renew his contract. He had to leave his beloved club and start a new chapter in his career at PSG.


Messi’s stats over the year are just what you would expect from one of football’s best. The ratings he achieved in the “On the ball” category display his unmatchable flair, how skillful and technically gifted he is. Delivery, Reception, Short Pass, Shots, Finishing and Take-on, there is almost no category that the football genius is not on top. Off the ball, a high Tackle both Off and Def, might come as a surprise but this is a sign of how professional Messi’s approach is. Messi has built a solid Stability rating by performing with consistency on a top level during the year and deserves all the praise for doing so. Another magnificent year for the legendary number 10 and we are all excited to see his achievements in a new chapter in his career.
Ruben Dias – POR / Manchester City
24 years old; In 2021: Won: Premier League & Carabao Cup; 1 goal; 2 assists; 26 clean sheets;

It is the first time among the last 30 contenders for Ruben Dias, who blended into Man City’s back-four as if he were custom-tailored to play there. Excellent performances saw him playing in major tournament finals and winning the Premier League. Dias then has become one of the highest rated center backs around the world. Furthermore, Four Four Two magazine has ranked him number one center back in the world. He has even been dubbed the “next Kompany” by the Citizens due to his natural leadership.



The on the ball ratings in Ruben’s profile show how confident the defender is with the ball. The high ratings in Delivery, Pass Short and Reception hint at the main reasons he adapted into the team. Skillful ball-playing defenders like him are very important for Pep’s tactical approach. Off the ball is where Dias might need slight improvement. With satisfactory Tackle ratings, and some Aerial presence, Ruben’s Stability rating is good, although there is room for improvement. However, considering his young age for a defender and the potential shown over the year, his future holds great promise. Ruben Dias’ performance and instant impact earned him the best player in the Premier League, and the Etihad Player of the Season. It seems like the sky’s the limit for the center back.

In Scoutpanel you can explore thousands of players, including youth competitions worldwide. Want to have a look? Book a demo!