Manchester City were football’s best team in 2019.
So it stands to reason that their star man, Raheem Sterling, should be in with a big shout at Ballon d’Or glory.
Nobody could touch the Citizens domestically in 2019 as they swept the board with a first ever domestic treble and added the Community Shield for good measure.
In truth, nobody could touch their dazzling winger either, as Sterling elevated his game to the sort of new heights that rightly positions him as one of the game’s elite.
Amid a team of superstars from across the globe, it is the England international who shines brightest with his mesmerisingly fast feet, devastating turn of pace and incredible awareness.
His finishing has improved dramatically too – as evidenced by his 39 goals so far this year for club and country – and it makes him the complete package.
He is also shouldering the responsibility of being his country’s new leader.
— England (@England) November 25, 2019
That was evidenced upon being trusted with the armband by Gareth Southgate, who watched the 24-year-old plunder an astonishing eight goals and nine assists in 2019 – in just nine caps.
Among his international highlights were a hat-trick of goals against the Czech Republic and a hat-trick of assists against Kosovo.
Four goals and an assist in Champions League knockout round ties this year are also an indicator of how much Sterling is now stepping up on the biggest nights and occasions.
Ask any City fan though and they’ll tell you that it goes beyond the statistics with the ex-Liverpool man.
This is a world class talent who excites every time he touches the ball and is capable of turning a game in a flash.
Just as importantly, he has also become a role model to the community with his outspoken attitude towards tackling racism, inequality and other social issues.
That may even be worth more than any 38-goal, 22-assist year or potential new £450,000 per week deal.
You can count on one hand (maybe even one finger!) the attacking players who are better than him, such is his meteoric rise.
The Ballon d’Or is definitely coming for him. Even if it isn’t in 2019, it is on the cards.