Spain captain could end lengthy Ballon D’or drought for nation

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After captaining Spain to a third consecutive major tournament win, Iker Casillas looks big at 8/1 in the 2012 Ballon D’or betting.

The Spanish goalkeeper has enjoyed a terrific year so far, captaining Real Madrid to La Liga glory before marshalling his national side to the aforementioned unprecedented achievement.

Casillas kept five clean sheets from just six games in Poland and Ukraine, and was an inspirational figure as his side went on to become the first in history to win three major tournaments in a row.

Indeed, only one international side had previously even made three finals in succession, so the magnitude of Spain’s achievement should not be underestimated.

Nor too should the contribution of their captain, whose performances at Euro 2012 are more impressive considering he only stepped into the role of skipper in the absence of the injured Carles Puyol.

If he were to gain the ultimate personal recognition for his showings, Casillas would become the first Spanish player since Luis Suarez way back in 1960 to claim the award.

Barcelona player Suarez landed the accolade on the back of a La Liga success those many years ago, but his success with the national side was non-existent in comparison to Casillas’ this year.

Alfredo Di Stefano claimed the trophy the year previous meanwhile, and remains the last Real Madrid player to do so, and one of only two Spaniards who ever has.

Casillas will be hoping to become the third, and considering such an impressive season so far at both club and international level, he looks a tempting bet at 8/1 to do so.

Elsewhere, usual suspects head the betting, as Lionel Messi is 1/1 to land his fourth consecutive World Player of the Year gong, and Cristiano Ronaldo is 5/4 to receive the award for the first time since 2008.

Andres Iniesta is the other main hope of ending a Spanish drought for this accolade, at 6/1 to win the Ballon D’or.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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