On 1st December 2019 the world’s most successful football players had an opportunity to once again visit the Ballon d’ Or ceremony which was held at the Theatre Du Chatelet in Paris. Most football supporters already had an idea of who might snatch this legendary accolade but little to none of them could’ve predicted the results that where gathered by FIFA.
The Ballon d’ Or has been an achievement of a life time for some of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldinho Gaucho, Zinedine Zidan and David Beckham to name a few but Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo have broken a record that will forever echo in the temple of football. These two football Gods have been winning the award one after the other for 10 years straight and one could’ve never thought their streak would be broken by the Croatian international Luka Modric not to mention that they would regain it thereafter.
The finalists consisted of the following players:
1. Virgil Van Dyk [Liverpool And Netherlands]
2. Sadio Mane [Liverppol And Senegal]
3. Lionel Messi [Barcelona And Argentina]
4. Trent Alexandra-Arnold [Liverpool And England]
5. Mohammad Salah [Liverpool And Egypt]
6. Allison Becker [Liverpool And Brazil]
7. Roberto Firmino [Liverpool And Brazil]
8. Christiano Ronaldo [Juventus And Portugal]
9. Raheem Sterling [Manchester City And England]
10. Kylian Mbappe [ Paris Saint Germain And France]
The favorite to win the Ballon D Or was the Liverpool and Netherlands international center back Virgil Van Dyk after having won The UEFA Champions league, The UEFA Super Cup as well as being a runner up for both the Premier League and the UEFA nations league. The second favorite was Christiano Ronaldo who managed to win the Serie A with Juventus, the UEFA Nations league with Portugal as well as being a runner up for the Suppacoppa Italiana. Lionel Messi didn’t have a bad season himself as he won the La Liga with club side Barcelona and finished the 2018/19 La Liga season as the top goal scorer with a whopping 36 goals.
When it comes to individual awards prior to the Ballon d Or Virgil Van Dyk was named the Premier Leagues Player Of The Season 2018/19, Premier Leagues Player Of The Month December 2018, UEFA Player Of The Year 2018/19, UEFA Defender Of The Season 2018/19, UEFA Team Of The Year 2018/19, PFA Players Player Of The Year 2018/19, PFA Team Of The Year, PFA Player Of The Month November 2018 and the FSF Player Of The Year 2018
Christiano Ronaldo was named the MVP Player Of The Season 2018/19 and MVP Player Of The Month x6. Goal an international assosication football news website also named him player of the season for the 2018/19 season. On the other hand Lionel Messi took home the Best FIFA Mens Player, The European Golden Shoe, UEFA Club Forward Of The Year and the UEFA Team Of The Year. There is no doubt that Lionel Messi is amongst the best players in the world but the Ballon D Or was focused more on the 2018/19 season and how it panned out for the finalists rather than their overall career archievements as football players. When it comes to achievements for the 2018/19 season Virgil Van Dijk and Christiano Ronaldo have way more than lionel messi weather we’re talking about club, international or individual trophies.
The Ballon d Or winners are said to be voted for by international journalists and the coaches and captains of the national teams playing under FIFA, only one journalist per country may vote. They are allowed to select players who play in or are affiliated with their own country. Lionel Messi has never won a single trophy for his international side Argentina, Christiano Ronaldo has managed to win two for his international side Portugal Namely the Euro in 2016 and the UEFA Nations League in 2019 and Virgil Van Dijk Captained his international side Netherlands to the UEFA Nations League final
Just as every other sports journalists statistics help me determine who the better player is and in my opinion, Virgil deserved the Ballon D Or more than Messi or Ronaldo but it would’ve been fair if Ronaldo reached his 6th one before Messi. Jurgen Klopp Liverpool’s head coach and German Coach Of The Year 2019 told football updates a few days before the ceremony was held that “if you give the Ballon d Or to the best player of this generation then give it always to Messi that’s how it is but if youre going to give it to the best player of last season then give it to Virgil Van Dijk so…I don’t know how exactly it would work but that’s how I see it, if its for the best player, the best player of all time then its lionel but the best player of last season its Virgil we will see”.
When Didier Drogba announced that Lionel Messi is the winner of the Ballon d Or most football supporters where disappointed but they were not surprised . Lionel Messi going on stage and collecting the Ballon d Or award is nothing knew but they were players who had a reasonably better season then he did.