Lionel Messi has won a sixth Ballon d’Or at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris tonight.
The Barcelona star lead a 30-man shortlist, with Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo expected to finish on the podium. There was no place for last year’s winner Luka Modric, though his Real Madrid team-mates Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard are in the running.
USA national team forward Megan Rapinoe has won the women’s Ballon d’Or .
You can follow the ceremony LIVE in our Standard Sport blog below…
“Thank you to my colleagues from my club. It’s really amazing. Thank you so much.”
1 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona)
2 Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool)
3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid)
4 Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool)
Messi wins sixth Ballon d’Or
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won his sixth Ballon d’Or.
The 32-year-old beat Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo to the award and picked up the trophy in a ceremony in Paris on Monday night.
Messi becomes the first player to win the award on six occasions, having been tied with Ronaldo on five, and wins it for the first time in four years.
The Argentine and the Portuguese dominated the Ballon d’Or for a decade between 2008 and 2017, winning five apiece in that time.
Their duopoly was broken last year as Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric claimed the prestigious prize, but the Barca forward has now collected a record sixth Golden Ball.
The Argentine attacker hit 51 goals in 50 appearances in 2018-19 as Barcelona won La Liga, but lost out to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals.
Here’s the moment when Messi discovered he had won…
Messi in 2018-19
La Liga: 36 goals, 13 assists
Champions League: 12 goals, 3 assists
La Liga winner
Best Fifa Men’s Player
European Golden Shoe
Quite possibly the worst kept secret in football, but it’s now official: Messi wins his sixth Ballon d’Or.
They’ve even brought out a chair with his name on it!
AND THE WINNER IS…
It all comes down to this.
The final four. Who will be crowned the Ballon d’Or winner?
Virgil van Dijk
The full Women’s Ballon d’Or results:
1 Megan Rapinoe (USA/Reign FC)
2 Lucy Bronze (England/Lyon)
3 Alex Morgan (USA/Orlando Pride)
Drumroll please! The winner of the Women’s Ballon d’Or is…
1. Megan Rapinoe (USA/Reign FC)
That’s her first Ballon d’Or. What a year it’s been for the World Cup winner.
And now, for the Women’s Ballon d’Or winner.
The nominees are as follows:
5. Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool)
6. Kylian Mbappe (France/PSG)
Time for some more Ballon d’Or rankings!
7. Alisson (Brazil/Liverpool)
The Liverpool stopper speaks on stage: “It’s a great honour. I am blessed and grateful.”
Robert Lewandowski walks out onto the stage and the Bayern man will present the award.
Now, we’re up for the Yachine Trophy which is awarded to the best goalkeeper.
The award is presented in memory of former USSR goalkeeper Lev Yashin.
8. Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich)
Without doubt the most in-form striker in the world at the moment.
Lewandowski has scored 51 goals in 2019 – more than any other player – and only recently bagged four in the 6-0 win over Red Star for Bayern, taking his overall tally to 10 for the campaign in just five games.
9. Bernardo Silva (Portugal/Man City)
A special player and a known favourite of Pep Guardiola, Bernardo has become a key player for City in the last 18 months. He also helped Portugal win the Nations League and qualify for Euro 2020.
We’ve got the next three players counting down from the top 10…
10. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria/Man City)
The winger has enjoyed a phenomenal year for club and country, winning the domestic treble with Manchester City and also triumphing in the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria.
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Who is in the shortlist?
How to follow the Ballon d’Or
There is no UK television broadcaster but Standard Sport will bring you live coverage of the event.
What is the Ballon d’Or and how does it differ from the Fifa Best Awards?
The Ballon d’Or was first conceived by France Football writer Gabriel Hanot in 1956 but prior to 1995 the award, voted for by football journalists, was confined to Europe. Liberia striker George Weah won in his first year of eligibility but is currently the only player from outside Europe or South America to win the prize.
Between 1991 and 2010 Fifa had its own World Player of the Year prize but for the five subsequent years the governing body and France Football jointly awarded the Ballon d’Or.
This partnership ended in 2016, after which Fifa began a ceremony named The Best Football Awards.
Past Ballon d’Or winners
Ronaldo and Messi share the record for most Ballon d’Or wins with five, while the Juventus star has one more second-placed finish than his rival. Messi has one third-place to his name.
Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten have all won the prize three times whilst Kevin Keegan is the only English player to have won it more than once, taking the crown in 1978 and 1979.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have the most Ballon d’Or wins (11 each). Juventus and AC Milan players have won the prize eight times.
Manchester United (Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Cristiano Ronaldo), Liverpool (Michael Owen) and Blackpool (inaugural winner Stanley Matthews) are the only English clubs who have fielded Ballon d’Or winners.
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