The likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk will today learn whether they are in the running for the most prestigious individual prize in football, as the 2019 Ballon d’Or shortlist is announced.
Luke Modric was crowned the winner last year – ending the ten-year stranglehold Messi and Ronaldo held over the award. But could Van Dijk become the first Premier League player since Ronaldo in 2008 to take home the prize?
Join us as we countdown to the announcement of the 30-man shortlist, bringing you all the latest news and reaction from around Europe. Follow the latest updates below:
The reigning Ballon d’Or holder is still oozing class, yet he’s certainly on the other side of the mountain now. The Croatian is still capable of shining at the highest level, though.
Established at the Nou Camp and integrated into the Brazil side, where he played a key role in the Copa America triumph. Presents a scarily good midfield for the future in Barcelona alongside Frenkie De Jong.
The Ballon d’Or may once again be between a familiar duo. So here’s a podcast on which of Messi and Ronaldo should be deemed the greatest player of the 21st century:
Will he make it six this year?
Often dismissed yet his record remains superb, operating at the heart of Spurs and England in their excellent Champions League and Nations League runs. Continues to quietly put together a world class resume, even if many will refuse to acknowledge it until he’s gone.
Matthijs de Ligt
A dominant centre-back with quality to match, though the transition at Juventus has so far been tough. Yet he led a young Ajax team superbly and forms one half of the finest centre-back partnership in international football alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Kevin de Bruyne
Injuries have stemmed his progress, but he is back now and hitting his previous heights. A devastating player able to break games open or control them.
Still maintaining a relentless goalscoring streak at 31 years old and thriving in a leadership role in a Bayern side in transition. Perhaps Europe’s most prolific striker and capable of scoring every type of goal.
The magnetism of Mbappe hasn’t faded since France’s World Cup victory, scoring 33 goals in 29 games as PSG stormed to the Ligue 1 title.
Running ceaselessly across the midfield in a box-to-box role, offering a new vein of attacking threat under Maurizio Sarri, Kante again proved why he’s the best midfielder of his ilk as Chelsea won the Europa League.
Selfless at times but also key in sprinkling the final touches to Liverpool’s moves when necessary. Gorgeous technique and the movement to enable Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to thrive.
Shining as a false nine and delivering insane production for Dutch giants Ajax. Maybe the key piece in their Champions League run, 47 goals and 34 assists since the start of last season.
Frenkie de Jong
Maybe the finest midfielder of the last 12 months, fearless on the ball for Ajax, no matter the moment, while also fundamental to a resurgent Netherlands. Barcelona have the premier midfielder of the next decade.
In a topsy-turvy final season at Chelsea, under Maurizio Sarri, Hazard carried an often chaotic side on his shoulders, scoring 21 goals and adding 17 assists in all competitions as the Blues won the Europa League, before finally sealing his summer move to Real Madrid.
The Brazilian established himself as arguably the best ball-playing goalkeeper in the world, making a series of crucial saves – none more so than against Napoli – as Liverpool clinched a sixth European Cup.
Relentlessly effective cutting in off the right-wing, Salah scored 27 goals in all competitions as Liverpool lifted the Champions League and chased down Man City to the final game of the Premier League season.
Man City’s standout player in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, scoring 17 goals and adding 12 assists as Pep Guardiola’s side clinched a third Premier League title, as well as an FA and EFL Cup.
Integral to Manchester City, having helped fill the void left by the injured Kevin De Bruyne, while also an inspiration for Portugal to win the Nations League. A complete player who refuses to hide in the big moments and always makes his teammates better.
The understated partner to Mohamed Salah, yet quietly the more impressive over the 2018/19 season. Mane scored 22 goals in the Premier League, starred in Liverpool’s Champions League win, and guided Senegal to the final of the African Cup of Nations.
The fears over whether Ronaldo’s talents would fade beyond Madrid were quickly extinguished, scoring 21 goals in 31 games as Juventus cantered to the Serie A title, before inspiring Portugal’s Nations League victory in the summer.
When is the 2019 Ballon d’Or?
The ceremony will take place on December 2 2019.
Where is it held?
The 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place at the Theatre du Chatelet, in Paris.
When will the shortlist be announced?
France Football will announce their 30-man shortlist this evening.
They will announce 5 players to make the shortlist every 15 minutes from 5pm.