The 2019 recipient of the highly-prestigious Ballon d’Or award will be revealed tonight as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk compete for top billing.
Luka Modric was the winner last year to become the first person in a decade other than Messi or Ronaldo to be recognised as the world’s best player by France Football.
Liverpool star Van Dijk was heavily tipped to extend the dominant pair’s fallow period after his heroics in the Premier League and Champions League, though it has since been reported that Messi is in line for another milestone individual triumph.
Van Dijk was crowned Uefa Player of the Year in August, with Messi named Fifa’s The Best Men’s Player the following month. Will Ronaldo end the year empty-handed?
Here’s all you need to know ahead of tonight’s festivities…
When is the 2019 Ballon d’Or?
The ceremony is set to take place tonight from approximately 7:30pm GMT at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
When was the shortlist revealed?
France Football announced a 30-man shortlist in late October.
Who is in the shortlist?
1. Sergio Aguero – Man City
2. Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal
4. Alisson Becker – Liverpool
5. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
6. Keviin De Bruyne – Man City
7. Frenkie de Jong – Barcelona
8. Matthjis de Ligt – Juventus
9. Joao Felix Atletico – Madrid
10. Roberto Fimino – Liverpool
11. Antoine Griezmann – Barcelona
12. Eden Hazard – Real Madrid
13. Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli
14. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
15. Hugo Lloris – Tottenham
16. Riyad Mahrez – Man City
17. Sadio Mane – Liverpool
18. Marquinhos – PSG
19. Kylian Mbappe – PSG
20. Lionel Messi – Barcelona
21. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus
22. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
23. Bernardo Silva – Man City
24. Heung-min Son – Tottenham
25. Raheem Sterling – Man City
26. Dusan Tadic – Ajax
27. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen – Barcelona
28. Donny van de Beek – Ajax
29. Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool
30. Georginio Wijnaldum – Liverpool
The 2019 Ballon d’Or contenders
After nine years at Real Madrid, Ronaldo moved to Juventus last summer in a deal worth £100million looking for a new challenge at the age of 33 and was named Serie A’s most valuable player 10 months later after winning the Scudetto.
Ronaldo finished as club’s top scorer in every domestic competition he competed in before leading Portugal to Uefa Nations League glory over the summer.
The forward scored a hat-trick in the semi-final win over Switzerland before captaining the final win over Netherlands in Porto.
Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk is widely regarded as the best centre-back in the world, with the eyebrow-raising £75m price Liverpool for him in January 2018 now considered a bargain.
Liverpool have been transformed from a vulnerable defence to among the best in Europe, culminating with their Champions League triumph in June of this year after finishing as runners-up 12 months prior.
Such is his calmness in possession, Van Dijk went 50 games without being dribbled past between March 2018 and August 2019, which was key to the Reds’ agonising finish as runners-up behind Manchester City in the Premier League after winning 97 points.
Messi has another 12 months to celebrate but again found the game’s top prizes out of his reach. Barcelona won La Liga once again as Messi was the top scorer across Europe and provided the most assists in Spain’s top flight.
However, a semi-final second-leg collapse at Anfield saw Barca miss out in the Champions League once again as Liverpool scored 4-0 to seal a remarkable 4-3 aggregate win.
On the international stage, Messi suffered another semi-final exit as Argentina lost 2-0 to Brazil in the Copa America in July before beating Chile in the third-place play-off.
Latest betting odds
Lionel Messi 1/12
Virgil van Dijk 10/1
Cristiano Ronaldo 159/1
The first award was handed out in 1956, with Stanley Matthews beating Alfredo Di Stefano and Raymond Kopa.