Messi and Ronaldo will be succeeded by Bernardo Silva – Portugal great Futre
Manchester City and Portugal star Bernardo Silva will win the Ballon d'Or when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo begin to show signs of decline or retire, according to former Selecao star Paulo Futre. Silva featured in 51 matches for City in their treble-winning campaign of 2018-19 and was voted City's Player of the Season by supporters.
And after also helping Portugal to Nations League glory earlier this month, the 24-year-old has been tipped by Futre to become the next leading star in world football after Messi and Ronaldo – aged 32 and 34, respectively. Futre, who earned 41 caps for Portugal and represented the likes of Porto, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan at club level, told Omnisport: "I think Bernardo will be the next star, or he will be when Ronaldo and Messi start to decline.
"I think Bernardo will be one of those who will be ready to win the Ballon d'Or, because he is a player with a lot of responsibility in a great team like Manchester City. "He will continue to grow and in two or three years, when Messi and Cristiano retire, I think he can be one of the big favourites to win the Ballon d'Or."
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric ended the decade-long reign of Messi and Ronaldo by winning the Ballon d'Or for the first time last December.