If you’re new here, don’t forget you can sign up to get our best coverage straight to your inbox with the weekly Recap, and the daily football-focused (and occasionally funny) Fiver.
Here’s some words from Ada Hegerberg, albeit taken from France Football’s site and mauled by my sub-conversational French:
“It’s a tremendous honour, and a big motivation to continue working. We will continue to work together to win more titles.”
Two of the top five, Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, are up on stage with a few France team-mates and head coach, Didier Deschamps, to talk about winning the World Cup. Get over it, guys – not like it’s the Nations League, is it?
Here’s the top five for the women’s award:
1. Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Lyon)
2. Pernille Harder (Denmark/Wolfsburg)
3. Dzsenifer Maroszan (Germany/Lyon)
4. Marta (Brazil/Orlando Pride)
5. Sam Kerr (Australia/Chicago Red Stars)
Lucy Bronze came sixth, with Fran Kirby 14th.
And a timely reminder that the Guardian are launching our own top 100 female footballers list on Tuesday, with the top spots to be announced on Friday.
Here’s an interview with Ada Hegerberg from June:
Ada Hegerberg wins the Ballon d’Or Féminin!
The Lyon and Norway striker is the first ever winner of the women’s Ballon d’Or. She’s joined on stage by several of her club team-mates, including Lucy Bronze. They pay tribute to her hard work, perseverance, determination and speed.
Lionel Messi finishes fifth!
Messi finishes outside the top two for the first time since 2006! It’s not been his finest year, with Argentina a mess at the World Cup, but there aren’t four players in the world better than Messi. That’s just silly.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah the top Premier League player in sixth – with Raphaël Varane the highest-ranked defender overall in seventh.
Two more places in the top 10 are decided – they’re both Belgian, and both play in the Premier League. This shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s Kevin de Bruyne in ninth, and Eden Hazard in eighth!
Tonight, there will be two Ballon d’Or winners, with a female player getting a separate award for the first time. There are two English players on the shortlist – Chelsea’s Fran Kirby and Lucy Bronze, who is one of six Lyon players on the shortlist. Marta, Australia’s Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder, Lieke Martens and Megan Rapinoe are some other notable names on the list.
The top 10 countdown has begun – with England and Tottenham’s Harry Kane in 10th.
Kylian Mbappé wins the first Kopa trophy!
The PSG and France superstar is named the world’s best under-21 player. Mbappé was up against the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Justin Kluivert and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but there was never much doubt he’d take the crown.
For the men’s award, the players ranked 11th-30th were announced earlier (see below). That means we know the top 10, just not the final order:
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
DJ Martin Solveig is now out on stage for a skit that is, if I’m being kind, confusing. Modric and Griezmann seemed to enjoy it.
David Ginola takes the stage at the Grand Palais, the glass-domed building in Paris recently seen in one of Mission Impossible: Fallout’s less credulous scenes.
The main awards ceremony is about to start, where we’ll see who is crowned the male and female player of the year, and the young player of the year (in the new Kopa award).
Hi all, Niall stepping in as Jacob’s having some technical problems. The awards are kicking off at 8pm GMT, so there’s time to pop over and follow the FA Cup third round draw with Simon Burnton:
This is also the first time the women’s Ballon d’Or will be held. They’re having a good chat about it on my feed. In French. In Brexit. Oh. The feed’s gone dead now.
The early votes are in and these are the also-rans. Sort of. They’re pretty good at this game, this lot.
11 N’Golo Kanté
13 Luis Suárez
14 Thibaut Courtois
15 Paul Pogba
16 Sergio Agüero
=17 Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale
=19 Roberto Firmino, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Ramos
=22 Marcelo, Edinson Cavani, Sadio Mané
=25 Alisson, Jan Oblak, Mario Mandzukic
28 Diego Godín
=29 Isco, Hugo Lloris.
“It’s a great feeling,” Luka Modric says. “To be here in this beautiful building. I am honoured to be here in competition for this great award.”
Luka Modric has arrived at the venue in Paris with his family. “Modric?” Paul Griffin roars. “Absurd. At best he is George Harrison to Leo and Ronnie’s Lennon and McCartney. Giving Jordan Henderson the runaround, while the other two were reshaping what it means to play football.”
The presenter just said “Harry Kane”. Weirdly he hasn’t said “Arthur Masuaku” yet.
I’m watching a feed in French. The presenter just said “Ballon d’Or” and “David Ginola”. What a comeback from the former Aston Villa star!
The favourite to claim the top gong, of course, is
Croatia and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, who’s set to break the Messi-Ronaldo supremacy. Some of you, however, might still hold a candle for France’s extraordinary striker, Kylian Mbappe. Or Marouane Fellaini.
Hello. It’s awards night! Get your fake smiles ready as we hand out some gongs.