See list of top 5 player who are favourites to win Ballon d’Or Award for 2019
The race has intensified in England and Germany for the league title, coming to the Ballon d’Or , Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated the awards for the past decade with five wins each. No player has won more Ballon d’Or than these two prolific goal scorers of the modern era.
European success carries a lot of significance in the Ballon d’Or awards. Players from Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, and Liverpool are in contention this year to win the coveted award. Surprisingly, a couple of defenders are in contention this year. On that note, let’s take a look at the top 5 favourites to win the Ballon d’Or award this season.
5 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Ever since his sensational season for Monaco during the 2016/17 campaign, Kylian Mbappe has gone from strength to strength in his short and illustrious career. The 20-year-old has been in phenomenal form for Paris Saint-Germain and prolific in front of goal for the past couple of seasons.
The youngster was brilliant for France in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and led them to the title. In 27 Ligue 1 appearances this season, Kylian Mbappe has scored 30 goals and assisted seven more. He also scored four goals and assisted five more in the UEFA Champions League.
Despite his goal scoring exploits, PSG were eliminated by Manchester United in the UCL round of 16. They were also beaten in the Cup finals by Rennes but won the league title comfortably.
4 Gerard Pique (Barcelona FC)
The Barcelona centre-back has played a stellar role in the success of the Catalan giants this season. When most attribute the success of Ernesto Valverde to Messi, Gerard Pique’s contribution cannot be undermined. The 32-year-old was criticized for his lack of pace and concentration but he has overcome all that this season. He stood up for Barcelona in key fixtures and was rock solid at the back.
A couple of games against arch-rivals Real Madrid, UCL quarterfinals clash against Manchester United, and UCL win over Lyon are some of the games where Pique showed his value to Valverde.
He has received a lot of praise from press, pundits, and fans for his stellar performances this season. If he can lead them to a treble this campaign, he has every chance to finish in the top three, if not win the award.
3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
The Portuguese star is not new to winning this award. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award four times in the past six years and finished in the top three on previous eight seasons in a row.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner made his move from LaLiga to Serie A in the summer and led Juventus to the league title this season but failed to get them past quarterfinals in the Champions League. The former Real Madrid star scored 20 times in the league and created 11 more for his teammates. He has also scored six goals in the Champions League.
Despite his good exploits during the 2018/19 campaign, Ronaldo’s chances of winning the award look slim at the moment. European failure means that Ronaldo might not even end up on the podium in Ballon d’Or 2019.
2 Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Defenders rarely get the accolades they deserve but this man has been receiving praises from every nook and corner. Ever since his move to Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk has been a rock at the back for Jurgen Klopp.
After his consistent and solid performances, the Dutch defender won the PFA Player of the Year award this season. He also became the first defender since John Terry in 2005 to win the award. He showed tremendous leadership skills and his ability to read the game is exceptional.
Liverpool are still in contention for the EPL and UCL silverware, thanks in most parts to van Dijk’s heroics. Liverpool conceded only 20 goals in the EPL this season, which is the best defensive record for any team in Europe’s top flight league. If he can lead Liverpool to European glory, he has every chance to win the Ballon d’Or award.
1 Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Another sensational campaign for the Argentine international. Lionel Messi has been at the forefront of Barcelona’s treble charge this season. The 31-year-old led them from the front and has won quite a few games single-handedly for the Catalan giants.
A lot of pressure fell on him after Neymar’s departure and he handled it brilliantly. Messi has scored 34 goals and assisted 13 more in 27 LaLiga starts this season and 10 more goals in the Champions League. Barcelona have also won the league title and qualified for the Champions League semifinals.
They are also in the Copa del Rey finals where they will play Valencia. Messi has won the award on five occasions in the past and if he can lead them to a treble this season, he has a great chance to win the Ballon d’Or award.