- Barcelona players’ history with the award:
Barcelona is arguably one of the most prestigious and well known clubs in the football world. It is amazing how the Catalans have possessed the most number of players who have won the Ballon d’Or. Barcelona have had eleven players who have won the award while playing for the Catalans while Liverpool have only had one with Michael Owen winning it. It is not about the style of play but also how successful a club has been and that will be a big difference for Coutinho as he transits from playing for Liverpool to Barcelona.
- Champions League winners more likely to have a Ballon d’Or:
With all due respect to Liverpool, it is very unlikely that Liverpool are considered as strong contenders to win the Champions League in the near future. On the other hand, Barcelona have been the more frequent winners of the tournament. Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or when he won the Champions League with Manchester United, Kaka did the same with AC Milan and so did with Marco Van Basten with AC Milan. Even the runners up teams in the tournament have seen Ballon d’Or winners which makes Coutinho more likely to win the award at Barcelona than at Liverpool.
- Can thrash weaker sides better:
It is often argued that the La Liga is not as competitive as the Premier League and history has been evident for the same. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have mostly been the front runners for the title in the past. While the heavyweights in the La Liga have often thrashed the weaker teams, the same isn’t possible with Liverpool in the Premier League. The competition in England has been different and with the thrashing that can be done in La Liga, Coutinho surely has more scope to flourish and impress more.
- Messi and Ronaldo ageing:
The Ballon d’Or has been a two-horse race from the past few years with Messi and Ronaldo the only two contenders ending up as the winners. But with both these great players ageing, there is scope for other players to capitalize and become strong contenders for the award. At Barcelona, Coutinho can surely link up better with players and can be more involved in the goals and assists which can build his foundation for a Ballon d’Or victory in the near future.
- Will lead Barcelona’s attack in the future:
With Messi and Suarez both closer to retirement in the coming years, the onus will be on Coutinho to lead the Barcelona attack. It wouldn’t be the same with Messi and Suarez not around but he will have some amazing talent around him with Ousmane Dembele around and many other top footballers to join the club. It is then when Coutinho stands the highest chance of winning the Ballon d’Or and become one of the best players in the world.