A 'leaked' list of the 2021 Ballon d'Or results has been dismissed but Robert Lewandowski is now favourite for the top prize.
An image appeared on social media on Thursday naming the Poland striker as the 2021 winner with 627 votes, with six-time winner Lionel Messi in second and five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo in ninth.
But the image has now been dismissed by France Football´s own Philippe Auclair, who says that the organisation has never printed any copies of the lists before the actual reveal.
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Voting has already closed for the 2021 award, but fans won't know for sure who the winner is until it is officially announced on November 29.
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A leak took place in 2018 when Luka Modric took home the gong, with the list on that occasion an exact indication of the final results.
If Lewandowski does turn out to be the winner, few could argue against him taking home the prize.
The 33-year-old has been the most devastating striker on the planet for the last two years - he has scored the most goals in Europe's 'big five' leagues since the start of the 2019-2020 season with 113, with Kylian Mbappe in second with 76.
He had been a huge favourite to win the prize last year following Bayern Munich´s 2020 Champions League victory, but the award was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the striker has continued his tremendous form and it looks like he may still receive the award after all if the leaked list is indeed to be believed.
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This year's Ballon d'Or awards will decide the best player in men's and women's football over the past year.
This awards are scheduled to take place in November, after the 2020 event was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both the men’s and women’s nominees will find out the winner on 29 November in Paris, France. Thirty men and twenty women are nominated for the respective rewards.
The women's award began in 2018 when it was first awarded to Ada Hegeberg, and the current holder is American Megan Rapinoe. The men's award was launched in 1956, with the current holder being Lionel Messi.
The judgments are made on the basis of the last 12 months’ performances from players.
WHEN IS THE 2021 BALLON D’OR CEREMONY?
The ceremony will take place on 29 November 2021.
Leaked 2021 Ballon d'Or list
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
- Leo Messi (PSG)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- Jorginho (Chelsea)
- Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
- N' Golo Kanté (Chelsea)
- Erling Haaland (Dortmund)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester.United)
- Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Gianluiggi Donnarumma (PSG)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham)
- Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
- Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
- Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
- Pedri (Barcelona)
- Neymar (PSG)
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Who is nominated for the women’s 2021 Ballon d’Or?
- Kadidiatou Diani (PSG)
- Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
- Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona)
- Christiane Endler (Lyon)
- Christine Sinclair (Thorns FC)
- Ashley Lawrence (PSG)
- Irene Paredes (PSG, Barcelona)
- Jessie Fleming (Chelsea)
- Lieke Martens (Barcelona)
- Sandra Panos (Barcelona)
- Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)
- Ellen White (Manchester City)
- Pernille Harder (Chelsea)
- Sam Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
- Wendie Renard (Lyon)
- Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG)
- Stina Blackstenius (Hacken)
- Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea)
- Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
- Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
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