Ballon d'Or 2016 live: Coverage of France Football's announcement

BALLON D'OR

Ballon d'Or 2016 live: Coverage of France Football's announcement

Ronaldo wins the Ballon d'Or for 2016.

JAVIER SORIANO

AFP

Follow the minute-by-minute action of the announcement as we find out who the winner of the Ballon d'Or 2016 is, along with action, reaction and analysis of the favourites
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Live: France Football to name the winner of the 2016 Ballon d'Or

20:50 | We said we would be here for you until we got to the bottom of who finished from five to two. And we are sticking to our word. The names are coming out slowly!

And as we suspected, France Football announce Antoine Griezmann as number three and Lionel Messi as number two.

Luis Suarez is number four.

Neymar is number five. 

Here's the rundown from number 20 to six:

6. Gareth Bale(Real Madrid/Wales)

7. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester/Algeria)8. Jamie Vardy (Leicester/England)

9. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus Turin/Italy) et Pepe (Real Madrid/Portugal)

11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund/Gabon)

12. Rui Patricio (Sporting CP/ Portugal)

13. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United/Sweden)

14. Paul Pogba (Manchester United/France) et Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich/Chile)

16. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

17. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/Germany), Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia) and Dimitri Payet (West Ham/France).

20:31 | That was Ronaldo's fourth Ballon d'Or, of course. He makes it three in four years too. Incredible going.

20:28 | Antoine Griezmann has been named to start for Atletico tonight versus Villarreal. We probably had him at three behind Lionel Messi anyway. Ah well, I guess we might never know. 

20:24 | We are not going anywhere. We demand to know the countdown from five to two. We will even make it up ourselves if we have to! What happened?

20:03 | France Footbal have named Cristiano Ronaldo as the winner of the Ballon d'Or for 2016.

Ronaldo was a red-hot favourite for the award as he led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title and also scored the winning penalty kick against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final. Want to see how much that meant to him? Have a look at this video of his speech after the game.

Ronaldo upon receiving the award: "If Portugal or Real Madrid didn't win, I would not have won this. The team always comes first."

19:57 | Real Madrid's Gareth Bale makes it in at number six. He might be out of sight, with an injury, but he's not out of mind. Bale was excellent during Euro 2016 as his Welsh side made it to an unprecedented semi-final berth beating Slovakia, Russia, Northern Ireland and Beligum on the way before they were beaten by Portugal 2-0 in the last four. He scored three goals during the tournament.

Bale was also pivotal in Real Madrid's successful bid to win the Champions League providing the assist for Fernando's own goal in the semi-final against Manchester City and another asisst for Sergio Ramos' goal in the final. Influential.

19:52 | Riyad Mahrez gets the nod ahead of Vardy as he comes in at number seven in France Football's Ballon d'Or voting. The Leicester City star, who they picked up for a pittance (€500,000) was unstoppable last season for Ranieri's champions.

With Vardy and Mahrez named 8th and 7th respectively, here is a video looking back at their incredible year.

19:48 | The names are coming in thick and fast. Jamie Vardy is having a party as he is named at number eight in the voting. He helped Leiecester to the most unlikely of Premier League titles. 

Vardy loves a good fairytale and his footballing career is just that. Have a read about Vardy's rise to the top of the professional football ladder right here.

He also scored a hat-trick against Pep's Manchester City at the weekend.

19:46 | Pepe, who had a wonderful year for club and country, has been named joint 9th in the voting. He won the Champions League with Real Madrid and partnered Jose Fonte at the heart of Portugal's defense as they won Euro 2016.

19:40 | Gigi Buffon has been named at number nine. He helped Juve to their fifth consecutive scudetto and also represented Italy at Euro 2016. He recently made his 600th Serie A appearence.

Buffon added four caps to his tally for Italy during Euro 2016 meaning he has now played 167 times for his country - an incredible number. He conceded just two goals during those games and Italy wre knocked out by Germany on penalties despite many suggesting they could go all the way.

He was named in Carles Puol's most difficult XI that he has ever faced too.

TOP 10! - We have officially entered the top 10

As we stand, the first 10 named are: Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Dmitri Payet, Robert Lewandowski, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rui Patricia and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.

  • Manchester United: 2
  • Bayern Munich: 2
  • Real Madrid: 2
  • Borussia Dortmund: 1
  • Sporting Club de Portugal: 1
  • West Ham United: 1

19:17 | Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is your 11th best player in the world for 2016, according to France Football. He was incredible to be fair. He has 15 goals in 13 games in the Bundesliga this season and 19 goals in 20 games in all competitions. There is no slowing the man down. He was also nominated for African Footballer Of The Year 2016, but Riyad Mahrez won that - I don't think too many people would have complained had the Borussia dortmund star been named though. 

Also, talking about players being linked to Real Madrid. Aubameyang has made no secret of the fact that he wants to don a white jersey one day. He made a promise to his grandfather that he would represent the club and he plans on honouring it.

His mother said recently how all he ever talked about was Real Madrid, and never Barcelona, as a kid.

Thomas Tuchel admitted that the Gabon player had his sights set on Real Madrid.

Oh, and he challenged Usain Bolt to a race too.

Auba's son is a huge Cristiano fan and the Portuguese striker made his day by giving him one of his jersey. A lovely touch.

19:13 | Rui Patricio - Portugal's goalkeeping hero form Euro 2016 - is number 12. The Sporting Club de Portugal shotstopper conceded just six goals in seven games at the tournament. That includes three during a strange 3-3 draw with Hungary. He kept a clean sheet in the final, allowing Eder to snatch the late winner and give Portugal the victory.

19:02 | Zlatan rolls on in at number 13. The Swedish striker moved to Manchester United in the summer and it was also the last time we will get the chance to see him in a Sweden shirt. He retired after Euro 2016 with 116 caps and 62 goals with his country. He will also go down as Sweden's best ever player.

He is their top goalscorer ever with Sven Rydell coming in second with 49 goals and Gunnar Nordahl with 43.

Zlatan won the 2013 Puskas award with this stunner against England. What a finish! He currently has 13 goals in 23 games for the Red Devils.

18: 55 | Back in 2013, Bleacher Report had this profile of Vidal asking whether he was the best in the world? Yes, that's how influential he is.

A look back to when Claudio Bravo was asked to create his perfect player and he selected his fellow Chilean Arturo Vidal for stamina. And of course, always a nice chance to remind everyone that Vidal started his career at Colo-Colo - a club with such a cool name deserved as much recognition as it can get.

18:42 | He is joined at number 14 alongside Arturo Vidal, who was part of the Copa America Centenario winning Chile side this summer, beating Lionel Messi's Argentina in the final.

He was also critical of the Ballon d'Or in the past. The 29-year-old was vital to Pep Guardiola's final title-winning season with Bayern, playing in 30 games, scoring four goals and assisting with seven in the process in the league.

18:34 | Paul Pogba has been named at number 14 in the voting, which means we must have a joint 14th, as there was no number 15! Interesting. 

Realistically though, who can compare to the most expensive player in the world? He has also become a one man marketing juggernaut.

He can do it all. He struts like Conor McGregor, sings like Marvin Gaye and is a part of the mathematics curriculum in his native France.

18:32 | Oh, and also. Do you want to see how the Ballon d'Or is made? Have a look at this video with some lovely and relaxing music to go with it.

Lewa, a player who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent times. Here is a reminder, from Ancelotti that Bayern would never sell to the Spanish club. There was another reminder here that they would not let him leave for Madrid.

18:21 | Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski has been named number 16. A member of the Polish team that were eliminated from Euro 2016 on penalties. He scored his only goal in the quarter-final before Bayern teammate Renato Sanches equalised. He also scored a penalty but Blaszczykowski's was saved and Portugal advanced.

He is in fine form this season with 19 goals in 22 games for Bayern this season. 

How did Payet come to the attention of West Ham you might ask? He scored seven goals and assisted 21 - yes, 21 assists - during the 2014-15 season for Marseille. He was often overlooked as being inconsistent but he has been West Ham's best player for the last season and a half. Oh, and if you have ever seen him strike a free-kick, you will understand why too.

18:11 | The third player to be named in joint 17th is Dmitri Payet. What a year the French international had too. he scored three goals in seven games for France in Euro 2016 and was a revelation for West Ham. If it wasn't for Leicester's fairytale season, he might very well have won the Premier League player of the year, which went to Jamie Vardy instead. He also missed out on the PFA Player of the Year award too despite being nominated. He scored at the weekend too as Liverpool drew with West Ham.

You can have a quick read about the time Bojan Krcic's dad, a former Barcelona scout, tried to convince Barcelona to sign the Croatian but he moved to Spurs in the Premier League instead. Kroos has been in the news lately too as he was a suprise inclusion in Real Madrid's Club World Cup squad. He made an almost miraculous recovery from a broken foot.

17:59 | They have named Kroos' Real Madrid teammate, Luka Modric, as the joint number 17 in the world. Modric played in all four of Croatia's games at Euro 2016 and even got on the scoresheet during their first game, a 1-0 victory over Turkey. They would be knocked out by Portugal, the eventual winners, after extra-time. Another member of the Real Madrid Champions League winning side of last season - and a vital mamber of it too. 

17:46 | The announcements have started and Toni Kroos has been named number 17 in the voting. We can rule him out of the running then but he did have a particularly eventful year. He won the Champions League with Real Madrid and made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 having scored the first penalty in a shoot-out with Italy in the quarter-finals. They were then knocked out by France (0-2) in the semis with a brace from Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann.

The winner of the Ballon d'Or is announced tonight and we are here to bring you all the stats, comment, opinion and, most importantly, the name of the winner. The winner will be announced at approximately 21:00 (CET) on Monday the 12th of December. You can watch it here.


The candidates for the Ballon d'Or 2016 - France Football

There are 30 candidates for the Ballon d'Or, with 13 of those names coming from La Liga. Three Spanish players are also among the thirtty - Andrea Iniesta, Sergio Ramos and Koke.


The favourites for the award

Of the 30 players nominated, five have separated themselves from the pack and each and every one of them ply their trade in La Liga. We are talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, the resounding favourite, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar representing Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann, who is one of two Atletico Madrid players nominated.

CRISTIANO RONALDO

The Portuguese attacker is the favourite to scoop his fourth Player of the Year award. He won it in 2008, 2013 and 2014 but missed out last year to Lionel Messi. Ronaldo had a terrific year, winning the Champions League and the European Cup with Portugal. Ronaldo's numbers speak for themselves and as an attacking juggernaut, he would deserve the award should he win.

LIONEL MESSI

The Barcelona star is another favourite to pick up the award, along with the aforementioned four others. Messi is a one-man show and helped Barcelona to a domestic double last year - La Liga and the Copa del Rey. His assists, goals and moments of magic are, almost, unparallelled. He was also part of the Argentinian side that made it to the Copa America final but were beaten by Chile. 

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

Griezmann is the man trying to break the duopoly of Messi and Ronaldo. The French striker reached the final of the Champions League with Atletico Madrid and the final of Euro 2016 with his home country on the way to capturing the top scorer award in that competition.

LUIS SUÁREZ

Suarez is an outsider for the award but his 40 goals during Barcelona's successful title tilt might have been taken into consideration when voting started. He is part of the formidable MSN, which includes Lionel Messi and Neymar. He is another one of the main reasons why Barcelona landed the double last season under Luis Enrique.

NEYMAR

The last of the favourites, Neymar supplied magic from the left hand side of Barcelona's attacking trident all season. he was Brazil's catalyst during their Olympic Cup gold-winning tournament and has been their talisman all year.

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