2024 Ballon d'Or: Ranking the Top 5 Dark Horses Who Could Win the Coveted Award

2024 Ballon d'Or: Ranking the Top 5 Dark Horses Who Could Win the Coveted Award

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • It is the dream of any footballer to win the Ballon d'Or
  • The race for the 2024 edition is already seemingly on
  • Sports Brief lists the dark horses to win big next year

Securing the Ballon d'Or is a coveted achievement for any footballer, representing the pinnacle of individual recognition in the football world.

The 2023 Ballon d'Or winner, Lionel Messi claimed the accolade for an unprecedented eighth time on October 30, at a glittering gala event in Paris, France.

However, as the 2023/24 season kicked off, the race for the 2024 Ballon d'Or also commenced.

Ballon d'Or 2024 dark horses, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Antoinne Griezmann, Leroy Sane
let's take a look at five dark horses who could win the 2024 Ballon d'Or award. Photos by Florencia Tan Jun/Ali Al-Haji/Shaun Botterill
Source: Getty Images

Alongside the familiar contenders, several players have caught our attention with their exceptional performances in the initial stages of the new campaign.

Sports Brief explores five unexpected contenders who could clinch the 2024 Ballon d'Or award, as reported by Sportskeeda.

Five dark horses for 2024 Ballon d'Or

Antoine Griezmann

Griezmann has elevated his performance in the 2023-24 season, emerging as a standout player for Atletico Madrid.

With 12 goals and one assist in 16 appearances across all competitions, his impressive form positions him as a significant contender in the race for the 2024 Ballon d'Or.

Leroy Sane

The winger is currently delivering the best performances of his career.

Sane has emerged as a significant game-changer for Bayern Munich in the attacking third, and his statistics underscore the notable improvement in his gameplay.

The 27-year-old has netted nine goals and contributed seven assists in 18 appearances across all competitions this season.

Bernardo Silva

In the absence of Kevin De Bruyne due to injury, the Portuguese international has taken on the role of Manchester City's primary playmaker this season.

Silva has been orchestrating moves with precision and a considerable amount of flair.

In 13 appearances across all competitions this season, the 29-year-old has notched three goals and contributed three assists.

Mohamed Salah

At the age of 31, Salah has dispelled any concerns of a potential decline, showcasing a series of spectacular performances in the initial stages of the 2023-24 season.

He has been in scintillating form for Liverpool thus far this term, per Transfermarkt.

The Egyptian maintains an impressive record, consistently scoring goals and contributing assists in each of the 17 appearances he has made across all competitions this season, totalling 12 goals and four assists.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Can he replicate the feat once more? At 38 years old, Cristiano Ronaldo defies expectations by consistently delivering exceptional performances, earning him a spot in the Ballon d'Or conversation.

His remarkable goal-scoring form for both Portugal and Al-Nassr makes him a dark horse in the 2024 Ballon d'Or race.

Ronaldo currently tops the goal-scoring charts in the highly competitive Saudi Pro League. With 16 goals and nine assists in 17 appearances across all competitions, the 38-year-old continues to showcase his scoring prowess for Al-Nassr.

Comparing Haaland and Salah's seasons

Sports Brief also compiled a comparison of Salah and Erling Haaland ahead of the clash between Manchester City and Liverpool this weekend.

The Egyptian and the Norwegian have been in fine form for their respective clubs in the Premier League this season, with 23 goals combined.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)