#BallonDor2019: All You Need To Know About Tonight’s Activities

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#BallonDor2019: All You Need To Know About Tonight's Activities

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

Cristiano Ronaldo
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.

Lionel Messi
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.

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