The 2021 ballon d'Or ceremony comes up in less than 20 days and stakeholders have been picking their favourites to win the most prestigious individual gong.
The 2021 award is more highly anticipated than usual majorly because the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the ceremony from happening in 2020.
Organizers of the award, France Football has already made available the list of 30 stars contending for the award this year.
While Lionel Messi, former Barcelona icon and now Paris Saint-Germain forward is hoping to grab a seventh award, Ronaldo is looking to make it sixth while others like Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Kevin De Bruyne, Karim Benzema, among others are all contenders.
At this stage, coaches, players and ex-players become like regular fans, backing their favourites for the trophy.
As it appears, the top contenders for this year's award are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante.
We gathered that there are some top footballers and ex-football stars backing these players to win the award:
Among the stars publicly backing Lionel Messi are: Gerard Pique, Ronald Koeman, Mauricio Pochettino, Marco Verratti and Pedri.
The Bayern Munich and Poland star has been publicly tipped for the award by the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Iago Aspas and Rafa Marquez.
The Chelsea star has been backed by Giorgio Chiellini, Patrice Evra, who also wants N'Golo Kante to win.
The Real Madrid star has the backing of Tenis superstar, Rafa Nadal, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo Nazario
We reported earlier that former Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, is among the heavyweights backing Cristiano Ronaldo to win a sixth ballon d'Or