Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has won the 2019 edition of the Ballon d’Or at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris tonight making him the highest winner since its existence.
The Barcelona star lead a 30-man shortlist, with Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo expected to finish on the podium. There is no place for last year’s winner Luka Modric, though his Real Madrid team-mates Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard are in the running.
Van Dijk is one of seven names from Liverpool, while Manchester City have five nominees, Tottenham have two and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the sole representative from Arsenal.
Messi, who won the Spanish La Liga title with Barcelona last season as well as the European golden boot having scored 54 goals in 58 games in all competitions, last won the award in 2015.
The full list
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
4. Sadio Mane (Liverpool and Senegal)
5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
6. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)
7. Alisson (Liverpool and Brazil)
8. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City and Portugal)
10. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City and Algeria)
11. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona and Netherlands)
12. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City and England)
13. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid and Belgium)
14. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)
15. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus and Netherlands)
16. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina)
17. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool and Brazil)
18. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona and France)
19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool and England)
20= Dusan Tadic (Ajax and Serbia)
20= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal and Gabon)
22. Son Heung-min (Tottenham and South Korea)
23. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham and France)
24= Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli and Senegal)
24= Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona and Germany)
28= Donny van de Beek (Ajax and Netherlands)
28= Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid and Portugal)
28= Marquinhos (Paris St-Germain and Brazil)
What is the Ballon d’Or?
The Ballon d’Or has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, with England’s Stanley Matthews the first winner.
It was only for European players until 1995, when it expanded to become open for any player at a European club. From 2007 it opened up to the rest of the world.
The 30-man list of nominees is compiled by the editorial staff of the French magazine, with the winner voted for by journalists from around the world, with one representative per nation.
From 2010 to 2015 it merged with Fifa’s awards, but they split and the world governing body set up its own awards again in 2016.
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