Franck Ribery is 19/20 to win the Ballon d’Or and though there are reasons to suspect that he should be taken on at that price, it is difficult to gauge whether to side with Cristiano Ronaldo at 9/4 or Lionel Messi at 11/4.
Luckily, bwin.com present the perfect solution with an “in which league does the winner play?” market, in which the Bundesliga is the 11/20 favourite, meaning odds of 13/10 on galactico-congested La Liga.
Punters joining bwin.com today can claim a free £20 bet and backing La Liga to retain possession of the Ballon d’Or for a fifth straight year would return a £26 profit if successful.
La Liga has provided a massive eight of the past 14 Ballon d’Or winners.
Italian football ruled the world for most of the 1980s and 1990s, but since then, Spain has been the home of the planet’s best players.
Its current top attractions, Messi and Ronaldo, have locked out the top two in four of the past five years and the one exception in 2010 saw La Liga lifers Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez join Messi on the podium. A player from outside Spain’s top tier hasn’t ranked that high since 2008.
There hasn’t been a Bundesliga-based Ballon d’Or victor since 1996.
Staggeringly, a Germany-stationed performer hasn’t even infiltrated the top three since unlikely double bronze winner Oliver Kahn was at large in 2001 and 2002.
Bundesliga acclaim is at its peak, yet there were other years when the division was in the spotlight and missed out. Dortmund’s leading entrant when they won the Champions League in 1997 was Andreas Muller in sixth; Bayern’s was Kahn (third) in 2001.
Another precedent to suggest that Bayern’s heroes will be shunned is the fact that just one Inter treble winner – Wesley Sneijder (fourth) made the top 10 in 2010.
A Frenchman hasn’t been crowned since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.
Eric Cantona’s finest finish was third, Thierry Henry had to accept the runner-up spot as his ceiling and it is arguable that Zidane only prevailing once was harsh on the nation that conceived the award.
Ribery has enjoyed a classy 2013 and is widely regarded as Bayern’s star turn, but is one of several attacking forces there who rotate responsibility, so can’t quite rival Ronaldo or Messi for sheer overwhelming impact on his club.