Lionel Messi is the biggest contender to receive the Golden Ball on Monday evening. It would be the sixth time that the Argentinian wins the prestigious individual prize in football, with which he can get rid of his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The crème de la crème of the football club gathers on Monday at the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris for the presentation of the Golden Ball. Two weeks ago, via Spanish media, Messi (32) already leaked the Golden Ball again this year. The star attacker of FC Barcelona was seen last month with a delegation from France Football , the French magazine that organizes the election.
It is customary for journalists from France Football to interview the winner of the election in the run-up to the gala, and photos are also made for the magazine. The Spanish Mundo Deportivo drew the conclusion based on this that Messi once again won the prize.
Although Messi did not win a top prize on an international level last year, the Argentinian star player is still regarded as the top favorite for winning the Golden Ball. But how does the election work?
Lionel Messi shows his first Golden Ball to the FC Barcelona public in 2009. (Photo: Pro Shots)
The Golden Ball, in French le Ballon d'Or, is from 2007 the prize for the best football player in the world. From the founding year of 1956 to 1994, the trophy was awarded to the best European football player in a European competition. Since 1995, non-Europeans have also been eligible for a European competition.
In 2010, the organization of the Ballon d'Or merged with that of The Best FIFA Men's Player, a second prize awarded from 1991 to the best player in the world. However, this election, organized by world football association FIFA, was less highly regarded than the Ballon d'Or.
After a collaboration of six years, France Football decided to stand on its own two feet again with the Ballon d'Or. FIFA already named Messi the best footballer of the previous season in September, ahead of Virgil van Dijk and Ronaldo.
Procedure of Golden Ball
In the run-up to his election, France Football published a long list of 30 candidates in October. This list has been compiled by a team of editors from the French weekly magazine.
There is also a vote for the best goalkeeper (Yashin Trophy), talent (Kopa Trophy) and football star (Ballon d'Or Féminin) of the world.
The last ten winners of the Golden Ball
- 2018: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- 2017: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
- 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
- 2015: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
- 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
- 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
- 2012: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
- 2011: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
- 2010: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
- 2009: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
The winner of the Ballon d'Or will be designated on the basis of a voting procedure among 176 sports journalists. Each country is represented by one journalist, who gives points to the winner (six), the number two (four), three (three), four (two) and five (one). The player with the most points seizes the prize.
In addition to Messi, Van Dijk and Ronaldo are among the thirty nominees for the Ballon d'Or. The Portuguese still shares the record of most trophies (five) with the Argentinian.
Orange international players Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Georginio Wijnaldum and Ajax-striker Dusan Tadic are also on the longlist .
Virgil van Dijk was named UEFA Men's Player of the Year in August. (Photo: Pro Shots)
These thirty players have been nominated for the Ballon d'Or of 2019:
- Sergio Agüero (Manchester City / Argentina)
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool / England)
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal / Gabon)
- Alisson Becker (Liverpool / Brazil)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid / France)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Man City / Belgium)
- Frenkie de Jong (Ajax / Barcelona / the Netherlands)
- Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax / Juventus / the Netherlands)
- Joao Félix (Benfica / Atlético Madrid / Portugal)
- Roberto Firmino (Liverpool / Brazil)
- Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid / Barcelona / France)
- Eden Hazard (Chelsea / Real Madrid / Belgium)
- Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli / Senegal)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich / Poland)
- Hugo Lloris (Tottenham / France)
- Riyad Mahrez (Man City / Algeria)
- Sadio Mané (Liverpool / Senegal)
- Marquinhos (PSG / Brazil)
- Kylian Mbappé (PSG / France)
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona / Argentina)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus / Portugal)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool / Egypt)
- Bernardo Silva (Manchester City / Portugal)
- Heung-min Son (Tottenham / South Korea)
- Raheem Sterling (Liverpool / England)
- Dusan Tadic (Ajax / Serbia)
- Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona / Germany)
- Donny van de Beek (Ajax / the Netherlands)
- Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool / the Netherlands)
- Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool / the Netherlands)