Robin van Persie has snubbed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in naming the three players he believes could win the Ballon d’Or.
The former Arsenal and Manchester United striker believes Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski should win the award.
Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane, of Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, are the other players to make van Persie’s top three.
Should Van Persie’s list actually come to fruition, it would be the first time since 2006 that neither Messi nor Ronaldo finished in the top three.
Since 2007 only Luka Modric (2018) has won the award ahead of the duo. Lewandowski, De Bruyne and Mane have never finished in the top three.
Lewandowski has scored 52 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions last season, helping his side to win the Bundesliga. He also scored 11 goals in the Champions League, as Bayern look to win that too.
De Bruyne has scored 11 times and provided 18 assists in the Premier League this term. City won the League Cup and are still in the FA Cup and Champions League.
Mane, meanwhile, helped end Liverpool’s 30-year title drought by scoring 16 times and providing seven assists.
Messi has netted 22 goals and provided 19 assists in La Liga alone this season.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, will likely win Serie A with Juventus, having scored more goals for the club in a single season than any player in 60 years.
He has banged in 26 goals in 27 Serie A matches and the Italian giants remain in contention to win the Champions League.