According to the results of 2019, fans and experts were waiting for the Golden Ball ceremony with special interest, because if Lionel Messi won the sixth award, he could beat Cristiano Ronaldo on this indicator. And the media did not doubt that the Argentinean would take the first place in the vote. It was reported that he even managed to give France Football an interview on the occasion of another success.
It is noteworthy that this time Messi was considered not the eminent Portuguese, but Virgil van Dyck, who had a great season, this time. With his direct participation, Liverpool won the Champions League and took second place in the Premier League, and at the moment has captured confident leadership in the national championship.
It was Jurgen Klopp's wards who were represented in the list of nominees for the Golden Ball of 2019 the most, seven people at once: Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alison Becker, Jorginho Veinaldum, van Dyck, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
At the same time, for the first time in 26 years, the current winner of the award did not even get into the number of nominees. We are talking about the Croatian midfielder of Real Madrid Luc Modric, who became one of the main characters of the World Cup in Russia.
Once again, Ronaldo’s chances of winning the sixth Golden Ball were pretty small. With Juventus, he flew out of the Champions League 2018/19 in the quarterfinals and did not show the previous performance. The only argument in favor of Cristiano was the victory in the first League of Nations in history. In the tournament finale, Portugal just beat the Netherlands with van Dyck.
Messi, unlike Ronaldo, again missed a chance to win a trophy with the national team. Argentina lost to Brazil in the semifinals of the America's Cup and was forced to settle for bronze. Lionel himself scored only one goal in the tournament, and that one from the penalty spot.
However, on the side of two famous football players, their popularity came forward. In this regard, Van Dyck was hard to count on success, especially since the defenders have not won the Golden Ball since 2006. Then, after Italy’s success at the World Cup, Fabio Cannavaro did it.
The ceremony that took place in Paris did not remain without Russian representation. A large delegation of Dynamo Moscow arrived to give the prize to the best goalkeeper of the year named after Lev Yashin. They included goalkeeper Anton Shunin and grandson of the famous Soviet goalkeeper Vasily Frolov.
“I hope to continue to enjoy football”
However, the award for the "Best Young Player of the Year" was found by her first hero. He was recognized by Mateis De Ligt, who became one of the main characters of the enchanting past season of Ajax. In the summer, the 19-year-old defender at that time moved to Juventus, where so far he does not look his best. But this did not prevent him from receiving recognition from journalists.
Following announced the best goalkeeper. He was expected to be the goalkeeper of Liverpool Alison Becker, who spent a great year and won the America’s Cup, only once having missed the games of the continental championship. It is interesting that the award named after Lev Yashin was handed to him (no, not Shunin) by someone who, due to his position, is obliged to regularly upset goalkeepers - Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski.
The ceremony was gradually approaching the main event. The best football player of the year was declared American Megan Rapino, who last year became the world champion for the second time. By the way, the athlete did not come to Paris and addressed the audience via video link.
At the same time, the results of voting for the main trophy of the evening were published in parts on the official website of France Football. First, the third ten, then the second. Finally, it became known who took places from fourth to second: Manet, Ronaldo, van Dyck.
After that, there were no secrets - Messi won the sixth Golden Ball in his career and became the champion in this indicator. Lionel won the award three years later. In 2016 and 2017, Ronaldo became its owner, and in 2018 - Modric. It was he who handed the Golden Ball to a principal rival in el-clasico and did it extremely dry.
Messi previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Ronaldo took it five times (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). Three times the Golden Ball was awarded to Michel Platini, Marco van Basten and Johan Cruyff.
The Argentine, after another triumph, recalled that the fans had little time to admire his game.
“I know how old I am. And such moments are special, because my departure from football is approaching, and this is difficult. I repeat, although I still have a few years left, now it seems that time flies, everything happens so quickly. I hope to continue to enjoy football, family, rivals and my own life, ”cites Barcelona footballer Marca.
The Argentinean also he turned to his partners.
“I want to thank teammates. A few years ago, in 2009, I won my first Golden Ball, today the sixth. As my wife says, don’t stop dreaming, ”said Messi.
As for the main competitors of Lionel in the struggle for the award, Ronaldo did not come to the ceremony at all, preferring to her the gala evening of Calcho in Milan. For the Portuguese spoke his agent Jorge Mendes.
“Cristiano is the best football player in history, and you know that!” Football Italia quotes him.
And van Dyck admitted that it is difficult for him to fight for the Golden Ball with such players as Messi and Ronaldo.
“Messi is an outstanding player, magnificent, fantastic. He wins for the sixth time. I was very close to success. But he was a little better than me. I am proud of what I did last season. I never thought that I could win the Golden Ball. I have a completely different career, but I never gave up on my dreams. Being here is a great honor for me, ”the Dutchman quoted Twitter as Sporx.