FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi starts as a favorite to be awarded this Monday (8:30 pm / Teledeporte), at the gala held at the Theater of the Châtelet in Paris, his sixth Golden Ball, the award given by France Football magazine since 1956 and that would allow him to break up with Cristiano Ronaldo and relieve the Real Madrid player Luka Modric, winner of the last edition.
The Argentine already received on September 23 the Best award, the award that FIFA has awarded since his separation from the French magazine, which accredited him as the best player last year ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk, who won in August the UEFA Player of the Year award, and the Portuguese.
In the last three years, since in 2016 FIFA and France Football decided to deliver their awards separately, the winners have always agreed; in 2016 and 2017, the two organizations crowned Cristiano, while in 2018 they coincided in Modric, so, after the world football governing body rewarded Messi in September, things seem to point to the Argentine being chosen .
Since 2008, only Luka Modric has ‘dared’ to stand in the fight between Messi and Cristiano to be the best footballer on the planet; The Portuguese has won the award five times (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017), the same in which the Barcelona player has been awarded (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015).
Thus, this Monday in the Parisian capital the tie could be undone, and only Van Dijk could be erected as the surprise of the gala after being crowned European champion with the ‘red’ team. The successor of the Croatian, who is not even in the list of finalists, will be chosen among 211 specialized journalists from around the world.
On October 21, France Football announced the 30 finalists who will compete for the 2019 Golden Ball, a list that did not include any Spanish but seven players currently playing in LaLiga Santander.
Among them, in addition to Messi, there are Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, Marc-André Ter Stegen and Antoine Griezmann, Real Madrid players Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard and Madrid striker João Félix, and there is, however, Modric, that he will not be able to reissue the Golden Ball that he conquered last year.
MEGAN RAPINOE AND ALEX MORGAN, BETWEEN FAVORITES
In the women’s category, in which 20 players will fight for the award, the American Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan start as main favorites to succeed Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, also nominated, as best player, after crowning world champions with her selection Last summer in France.
Among the candidates there will also be members of the First Iberdrola, such as FC Barcelona’s Dutch Lieke Martens, The Best 2017; his compatriot Sari van Veenendal, goalkeeper of Atlético de Madrid; or the Swedish Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson, both of the Madrid Tacon CD.
‘France Football’ will also award the Yashin Trophy for the first time, which will recognize the work of the best goalkeeper of last season. Among the 10 candidates are the Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga, of Chelsea, and Slovenian Jan Oblak, of Atlético de Madrid, who will be alongside Ter Stegen, Frenchman Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) and Brazilian Alisson (Liverpool), who also compete for the Golden Ball.
In addition, there will be 10 candidates to take the Kopa Trophy for the best young footballer, in its second edition. Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal), Kang-In Lee (Valencia) and Andriy Lunin (Real Valladolid) are on a list in which De Ligt and João Félix complete their respective nomination doubles.
–LIST OF CANDIDATES.
MALE GOLDEN BALL: Sadio Mané (SEN / Liverpool), Sergio Agüero (ARG / Manchester City), Frenkie de Jong (HOL / FC Barcelona), Hugo Lloris (FRA / Tottenham), Dusan Tadic (SRB / Ajax), Kylian Mbappé (FRA / Paris Saint-Germain), Trent Alexander-Arnold (ING / Liverpool), Donny van de Beek (HOL / Ajax), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB / Arsenal), Marc-André Ter Stegen (ALE / FC Barcelona) , Cristiano Ronaldo (POR / Juventus), Alisson (BRA / Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (PBA / Juventus), Karim Benzema (FRA / Real Madrid), Georginio Wijnaldum (HOL / Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (HOL / Liverpool) , Bernardo Silva (POR / Manchester City), Heung-min Son (KOR / Tottenham), Robert Lewandowski (POL / Bayern Munich), Roberto Firmino (BRA / Liverpool), Leo Messi (ARG / FC Barcelona), Riyad Mahrez (ALG / Manchester City), Kevin De Bruyne (BEL / Manchester City), Kalidou Koulibaly (SEN / Naples), Antoine Griezmann (FRA / FC Barcelona), Mohamed Salah (EGI / Liverpool), Eden Hazard (BEL / Real Madrid), Marquinhos (BRA / Paris Saint-Germain), Raheem S terling (ING / Manchester City) and João Félix (POR / Atlético de Madrid).
BALÓN DE ORO FEMENINO: Kosovare Asllani (SUE / CD Tacon), Sarah Bouhaddi (FRA / Lyon), Lucy Bronze (ING / Lyon), Nilla Fischer (SUE / Linköpings), Pernille Harder (DIN / VfL Wolfsburgo), Ada Hegerberg ( NOR / Lyon), Tobin Heath (USA / Portland Thorns), Amandine Henry (FRA / Lyon), Sofia Jakobsson (SUE / CD Tacon), Sam Kerr (AUS / Chicago Red Stars), Rose Lavelle (USA / Washington Spirit), Dzsenifer Marozsan (ALE / Lyon), Marta (BRA / Orlando Pride), Lieke Martens (PBA / FC Barcelona), Viviane Miedema (PBA / Arsenal), Alex Morgan (USA / Orlando Pride), Megan Rapinoe (USA / Reign FC) , Wendie Renard (FRA / Lyon), Sari van Veenendal (PBA / Atlético de Madrid) and Ellen White (ING / Manchester City).