Virgil van Dijk grabbed next to the Golden Ball with minimal difference on Monday. Organizer France Football announced on Tuesday that the defender of Orange received 679 points, compared to 686 for winner Lionel Messi.
France Football speaks of "one of the smallest margins in the history of the Golden Ball". Because the structure of the prize for footballer of the year has changed regularly, it is difficult to compare the difference between Messi and Van Dijk with earlier editions.
The smallest difference ever between the winner and the number two remains at least in 1996, when the German Matthias Sammer got exactly one point more than the Brazilian Ronaldo (144 to 143).
If Van Dijk had received eight more points, the Liverpool player would have been the second defender ever to have won the Golden Ball. The Italian Fabio Cannavaro (in 2006) now remains the only one.
Results Golden Ball 2019
- 1. Lionel Messi 686 points
- 2. Virgil van Dijk 679 points
- 3. Cristiano Ronaldo 476 points
- 4. Sadio Mané 347 points
- 5. Mohamed Salah 178 points
- 6. Kylian Mbappé 89 points
- 7. Alisson 67 points
- 8. Robert Lewandowski 44 points
- 9. Bernardo Silva 41 points
- 10. Riyad Mahrez 33 points
- 11. Frenkie de Jong 31 points
- 15. Matthijs de Ligt 13 points
- 20. Dusan Tadic 5 points
- 26 Georginio Wijnaldum 1 point
- 28. Donny van de Beek 0 points
Van Dijk receives the most votes in Europe and Asia
Journalists from all over the world can vote for the Golden Ball candidates. Van Dijk received the most votes in Europe and Asia, while Messi was preferred in North and South America, Africa and Oceania.
For the 32-year-old Messi it was the sixth time that he won the Golden Ball. The Argentinian star player of FC Barcelona is therefore only the record holder. Cristiano Ronaldo has received the most prestigious international football prize five times.