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Ballon d'Or 2019: shortlists announced

Ballon d'Or 2019: nominees revealed

70 Ballon d'Or award nominees revealed

Winners announced at December Ballon d'Or gala

The winners of the Men's Ballon d'Or, Women's Ballon d'Or, Kopa Trophy and Yachine Trophy will all be announced at the 2019 Ballon d'Or gala, which is to be held at the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris on 2 December.

Until then, I bid you adieu. Thanks for reading!

De Ligt

Before I leave you, here's a reminder of the full shortlists for the Women's Ballon d'Or, Kopa Trophy and Yachine Trophy.

Women's Ballon d'Or:

Kosovare Asllani (CD Tacon/Sweden)

Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway)

Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns/USA)

Sofia Jakobsson (CD Tacion/Sweden)

Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit/USA)

Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil)

Lieke Martens (Barcelona/Netherlands)

Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/USA)

Wendie Renard (Lyon/France)

Sari van Veenendal (Atlético Madrid/Netherlands)

Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon/France)

Lucy Bronze (Lyon/England)

Nilla Fischer (Linköpings/Sweden)

Pernille Harder (VfL Wolfsburg/Denmark)

Amandine Henry (Lyon/France)

Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/Australia)

Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon/Germany)

Viviane Miedema (Arsenal/Netherlands)

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/USA)

Ellen White (Manchester City/England)

 

Kopa Trophy:

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)

Vinicius (Real Madrid/Brazil)

Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany)

Mattéo Guendouzi (Arsenal/France)

Andriy Lunin (Real Madrid/Real Valladolid/Ukraine)

João Félix (Benfica/Atlético Madrid/Portugal)

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund/England)

Moise Kean (Juventus/Everton/Italy)

Samu Chukwueze (Villarreal/Nigeria)

Kang-in Lee (Valencia/South Korea)

 

Yachine Trophy:

Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany)

Ederson Morães (Man City/Brazil)

André Onana (Ajax/Cameroon)

Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus/Poland)

Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid/Slovenia)

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea/Spain)

Samir Handanovic (Inter/Slovenia)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)

Klopp 2

2019 Men's Ballon d'Or shortlist in full:

Here, then, are the 30 men in the running to succeed Luka Modric as the winner of the Ballon d'Or.

Not altogether surprisingly, the Croat is not among this year's finalists; indeed, having failed to win any major silverware in 2019, Real Madrid's only representatives on the list are Karim Benzema and summer signing Eden Hazard, who scarcely counts. Los Blancos had eight nominees in 2018.

It is a shortlist dominated by the Premier League - particularly European champions Liverpool, who have no fewer than seven Ballon d'Or candidates.

30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist:

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Bernardo Silva (Man City/Portugal)

Heung-min Son (Tottenham/South Korea)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/Brazil)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal)

Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Kylian Mbappé (PSG/France)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool/England)

Donny van de Beek (Ajax/Netherlands)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)

Sadio Mané (Liverpool/Senegal)

Sergio Agüero (Man City/Argentina)

Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona/Netherlands)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)

Dusan Tadic (Ajax/Serbia)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)

Riyad Mahrez (Man City/Algeria)

Kevin De Bruyne (Man City/Belgium)

Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/Senegal)

Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid/Barcelona/France)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid/Belgium)

Marquinhos (PSG/Brazil)

Raheem Sterling (Man City/England)

João Félix (Benfica/Atlético Madrid/Portugal)

Final five Ballon d'Or nominees announced

And the final five are in! 

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt)

Eden Hazard (Chelsea/Real Madrid/Belgium)

Marquinhos (PSG/Brazil)

Raheem Sterling (Man City/England)

João Félix (Benfica/Atlético Madrid/Portugal)

No Andy Robertson, which to me is a little bit of a surprise. He was integral to Liverpool's success last season. Harry Kane misses out too.

Men's Ballon d'Or shortlist so far:

So, to recap: here are the 25 players so far named on the shortlist for the Men's Ballon d'Or, with five still to be revealed:

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Bernardo Silva (Man City/Portugal)

Heung-min Son (Tottenham/South Korea)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/Brazil)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal)

Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Kylian Mbappé (PSG/France)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool/England)

Donny van de Beek (Ajax/Netherlands)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)

Sadio Mané (Liverpool/Senegal)

Sergio Agüero (Man City/Argentina)

Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona/Netherlands)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)

Dusan Tadic (Ajax/Serbia)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)

Riyad Mahrez (Man City/Algeria)

Kevin De Bruyne (Man City/Belgium)

Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/Senegal)

Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid/Barcelona/France)

"Which of the five-man groups of nominees would make the best five-a-side football team?" asks my colleague in the AS newsroom.

That last five wouldn't have a goalkeeper... but they would have Messi.

Men's Ballon d'Or: nominees 21 to 25 revealed

Just the two hours and 10 minutes since we had nominees 16 to 20, France Football furnishes us with the next five contenders for the 2019 Men's Ballon d'Or.

They are:

Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)

Riyad Mahrez (Man City/Algeria)

Kevin De Bruyne (Man City/Belgium)

Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/Senegal)

Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid/Barcelona/France)

Just 10 to go...

Having positively raced through a total of 30 Women's Ballon d'Or, Kopa Trophy and Yachine Trophy nominees, all we now have left to go are the final 10 contenders for the Men's Ballon d'Or.

Four hours and counting. Fair play to France Football.

Yachine Trophy nominees announced

Out come the goalkeepers up for France Football's new Yachine Trophy. The 10 candidates to scoop the inaugural award are:

Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany)

Ederson Morães (Man City/Brazil)

André Onana (Ajax/Cameroon)

Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus/Poland)

Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid/Slovenia)

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea/Spain)

Samir Handanovic (Inter/Slovenia)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)

LaLiga makes up half of Kopa Trophy shortlist

While the Premier League is so far dominating the shortlist for the Men's Ballon d'Or, LaLiga is the most-represented league among the candidates for the Kopa Trophy, with a total of five players currently plying their trade in Spain.

Of the 10 Kopa nominees, eight are also among the 20 contenders for the 2019 Golden Boy award, whose final shortlist was announced last week.  Only Samu Chukwueze and Moise Kean are not up for that under-21 prize, which has been run by Italian media outlet Tuttosport since 2003.

By the way, Guendouzi is in action as we speak. His Arsenal side are at Sheffield United in the Premier League - and currently find themselves 1-0 down at Bramall Lane...

Kopa Trophy nominees named

Right, we're starting to make a bit of progess. We now have the 10-man shortlist for the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best under-21 player in the world in 2019.

The contenders to succeed Kylian Mbappé are:

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)

Vinicius (Real Madrid/Brazil)

Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany)

Mattéo Guendouzi (Arsenal/France)

Andriy Lunin (Real Madrid/Real Valladolid/Ukraine)

João Félix (Benfica/Atlético Madrid/Portugal)

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund/England)

Moise Kean (Juventus/Everton/Italy)

Samu Chukwueze (Villarreal/Nigeria)

Kang-in Lee (Valencia/South Korea)

Marta

2019 Women's Ballon d'Or: 20-player shortlist in full

Kosovare Asllani (CD Tacon/Sweden)

Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway)

Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns/USA)

Sofia Jakobsson (CD Tacion/Sweden)

Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit/USA)

Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil)

Lieke Martens (Barcelona/Netherlands)

Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/USA)

Wendie Renard (Lyon/France)

Sari van Veenendal (Atlético Madrid/Netherlands)

Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon/France)

Lucy Bronze (Lyon/England)

Nilla Fischer (Linköpings/Sweden)

Pernille Harder (VfL Wolfsburg/Denmark)

Amandine Henry (Lyon/France)

Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/Australia)

Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon/Germany)

Viviane Miedema (Arsenal/Netherlands)

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/USA)

Ellen White (Manchester City/England)

Women's Ballon d'Or: shortlist complete

France Football kick things back off by revealing the final 10 nominees for the 2019 Women's Ballon d'Or. They are:

Kosovare Asllani (CD Tacon/Sweden)

Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway)

Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns/USA)

Sofia Jakobsson (CD Tacion/Sweden)

Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit/USA)

Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil)

Lieke Martens (Barcelona/Netherlands)

Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/USA)

Wendie Renard (Lyon/France)

Sari van Veenendal (Atlético Madrid/Netherlands)

And we are - finally - back underway. Stand by...

Ballon d'Or

Still to go...

When France Football return at 21:15 CEST, we'll find out the final 10 nominees for both the men's and women's Ballons d'Or, plus the 10-man shortlists for the Kopa Trophy and the Yachine Trophy.

Still quite a bit to get through, then. I can't say I'm entirely on board with this intermission.

We'll be back with you in a little while.

See you at 9:15pm?!?!? Talk about stretching this out.

I'll get the kettle on, then.

Morgan

Women's Ballon d'Or nominees: the first 10

We now have the first 10 of a total of 20 candidates for the 2019 Women's Ballon d'Or. They are:

Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon/France)

Lucy Bronze (Lyon/England)

Nilla Fischer (Linköpings/Sweden)

Pernille Harder (VfL Wolfsburg/Denmark)

Amandine Henry (Lyon/France)

Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/Australia)

Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon/Germany)

Viviane Miedema (Arsenal/Netherlands)

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/USA)

Ellen White (Manchester City/England)

Premier League dominating shortlist

I make it that the breakdown of the shortlist by league is: 11 from the Premier League, four from the Eredivisie, three from LaLiga, two from Serie A, one from the Bundesliga and one from Ligue 1 (that adds up to more than 20, clearly, as De Ligt and De Jong have both played in more than one country in 2019).

The 20 Men's Ballon d'Or nominees so far:

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Bernardo Silva (Man City/Portugal)

Heung-min Son (Tottenham/South Korea)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/Brazil)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal)

Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Kylian Mbappé (PSG/France)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool/England)

Donny van de Beek (Ajax/Netherlands)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)

Sadio Mané (Liverpool/Senegal)

Sergio Agüero (Man City/Argentina)

Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona/Netherlands)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)

Dusan Tadic (Ajax/Serbia)

Cannavaro

Van Dijk to follow in Cannavaro's footsteps?

If Van Dijk ends up scooping the Ballon d'Or, by the way, he'll be the first defender to take the award since Italy's World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

Since the Ballon d'Or's creation in 1956, indeed, Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer are the only other defenders to have won the accolade

Nominees 16 to 20 are in! Once again, it's a fairly Liverpool-heavy list.

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Bernardo Silva (Man City/Portugal)

Heung-min Son (Tottenham/South Korea)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/Brazil)

Just the one Real Madrid player thus far. The one who actually played well last season. (OK, OK, Vinicius was decent too.)

Ballon d'Or shortlist: the halfway point

To recap, the first 15 nominees for the 2019 Men's Ballon d'Or are:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal)

Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Kylian Mbappé (PSG/France)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool/England)

Donny van de Beek (Ajax/Netherlands)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)

Sadio Mané (Liverpool/Senegal)

Sergio Agüero (Man City/Argentina)

Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona/Netherlands)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)

Dusan Tadic (Ajax/Serbia)

A distinctly Premier League-plus-Ajax flavour thus far. Liverpool are going to get a whole team of nominees at this rate. 

Klopp

There are more Liverpool players than LaLiga players among the nominees so far.

The next five nominees are out...

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal)

Alisson Becker (Liverpool/Brazil)

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus/Netherlands)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool/Netherlands)

Théâtre du Châtelet

Ballon d'Or gala at Théâtre du Châtelet

By the way, that Paris Ballon d'Or gala of which I spoke earlier is to be held at the French capital's 2,500-seater Théâtre du Châtelet.

There's a strong Ajax representation among the first 10 nominees, as Donny van de Beek also makes his first appearance on a Ballon d'Or shortlist, having put himself in contention for a summer move to Real Madrid with his performances last term. Speaking of Madrid, nobody from Los Blancos so far, despite their heroic performances last season ensuring they dominated FIFA's 2018/19 world 11.

Five of the first 10 nominees are Premier League-based, my colleague points out.

Five more Ballon d'Or nominees have been revealed... They are:

Kylian Mbappé (PSG/France)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool/England)

Donny van de Beek (Ajax/Netherlands)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal/Gabon)

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany)

First Ballon d'Or shortlist appearances for De Jong, Tadic

Frenkie de Jong and Dusan Tadic both make their Ballon d'Or shortlist debuts after playing key roles in Ajax's run to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.

De Jong has since joined Barcelona in a 75m-euro summer deal, and has quickly set about impressing in LaLiga, earning himself an ovation from the Eibar home fans in Barça's win at Ipurua on Saturday.

The first Men's Ballon d'Or nominees are out! They are:

Sadio Mané (Liverpool/Senegal)

Sergio Agüero (Man City/Argentina)

Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona/Netherlands)

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France)

Dusan Tadic (Ajax/Serbia)

Kopa Trophy: who might win it?

As for the Kopa Trophy, which is open to players aged under 21 on 31 December of the year in question...

Unlike the Golden Boy, the Kopa Trophy includes footballers plying their trade outside of Europe; however, the recent 20-man Golden Boy shortlist should give us a good guide of who'll be among the nominees.

I'm not a betting man - but if I were, my money would be on one of Joao Félix, Matthis de Ligt and Jadon Sancho...

 

Alisson

Yachine Trophy: the favourites

After a 2019 in which he has won the Champions League and the Copa América for club and country, respectively, Liverpool and Brazil's Alisson Becker has already been named UEFA Champions League Goalkeeper of the Year and FIFA's The Best Goalkeeper, and looks very well placed to add the inaugural Yachine Trophy to that haul.

Ederson Moraes (Manchester City/Brazil) and Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona/Germany) proved his closest challengers for the FIFA award, and they can be expected to figure among the nominees, together with the likes of Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/France) and Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid/Slovenia).

Rapinoe is a player who we could be seeing strut her stuff in Spain sometime in the not too distant future, incidentally.

"I love to travel. I played in Lyon for a year, and I loved it. Maybe at the end of my career I will play in Spain," the 34-year-old told beIN Sports last month. "How Barcelona plays is beautiful and inspiring; it's a joy to see them."

Rapinoe

Women's Ballon d'Or: who's in the running?

While Messi collected FIFA's The Best Men's Player award last month, it was the United States' Megan Rapinoe who made off with the women's gong, ahead of compatriot Alex Morgan and England's Lucy Bronze.

Here, we take a look at the trio of women's football stars, who can be expected to challenge once more when the Women's Ballon d'Or is handed out in Paris. 

Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/USA):

Named FIFA's The Best Women's Player 2019, Rapinoe was Player of the Match as the US saw off the Netherlands to win the Women's World Cup this summer. She netted the opener in the final to cap her six-goal haul in France, where she not only scooped the Golden Boot, but also the Golden Ball as the tournament's outstanding performer.

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/USA):

Second in the voting for FIFA's Best Women's Player prize, Morgan also scored six goals at France 2019, but was edged out by Rapinoe for the Golden Boot, instead taking its silver counterpart. Together with Rapinoe, she was one of the undoubted stars of the Americans' second-straight World Cup victory.

Lucy Bronze (Lyon/England):

Bronze came third to Rapinoe and Morgan in the running for FIFA's The Best Women's Player award, but was named UEFA's Women's Player of the Year for 2018/19 - a season in which she helped Lyon to league, cup and Champions League success, before playing her part in England's run to the World Cup semi-finals.

Van Dijk

Men's Ballon d'Or: the favourites

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands):

A crucial figure in the Liverpool side that won the Champions League and came second in the Premier League - despite amassing a whopping 97 points - Van Dijk beat Ronaldo and Messi to the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award, before coming second to the Argentine in the voting for The Best FIFA Men's Player.

The centre-back also skippered the Netherlands to second place in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.

Asked earlier today about his hopes of collecting a sixth Ballon d'Or, Ronnie spoke thusly:

Ronaldo

Men's Ballon d'Or: the favourites

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal):

Also a five-time winner of the award, Ronaldo scored (a comparatively modest) 21 league goals in his first season at Juventus as the Vecchia Signora lifted their seventh successive Serie A title, before skippering Portugal to glory in the maiden UEFA Nations League finals in June.

The 34-year-old netted his 700th career goal for club and country in Portugal's Euro 2020 qualifying defeat to Ukraine this month.

Messi

Men's Ballon d'Or: the favourites

Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina):

A five-time recipient of the Ballon d'Or - albeit not since 2015 - Messi scooped his first ever The Best FIFA Men's Player award in September, after a 2018/19 season in which he netted 51 goals in all competitions as Barcelona lifted their 26th Spanish league championship. His haul of 36 LaLiga goals won him the ESM Golden Shoe for the sixth time in his playing career

He finished fifth in the Ballon d'Or voting last year, somehow.

Paris

Winners announced in early December

Once the world's press pack has submitted its picks from the four shortlists, the winners of the Men's Ballon d'Or, Women's Ballon d'Or, Kopa Trophy and Yachine Trophy will then be announced at the Ballon d'Or gala in Paris on 2 December.

Ballon d'Or voting/judging process

The shortlists for each award are compiled by the editorial staff at France Football, before being voted on by one journalist from every footballing nation.

The judging criteria that they are told to follow is:

1. Individual and collective performances during the year
2. Player's class (talent and fair play)
3. Player's career

Clearly, "player's career" is less of a factor when it comes to the Kopa Trophy.

Modric

The holders...

Men's Ballon d'Or: Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia) 

Women's Ballon d'Or: Ada Hegerberg (Lyon/Norway) 

Kopa Trophy: Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain/France)

2018 was a historic year in the men's Ballon d'Or, as Luka Modric became the first player other than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to win the award since Ricky Kaká, all the way back in 2007.

Lyon's Ada Hegerberg was the recipient of the first ever Women's Ballon d'Or, but her absence from Norway's World Cup squad this summer surely makes her an outside to retain her trophy.

Yachine

Goalkeepers' Ballon d'Or  makes its debut

This is the first year of the Yachine Trophy, which was announced by France Football in September and is named after the legendary Russian Lev Yashin - the only goalkeeper in the history of the game to have won the regular Ballon d'Or.

Modric

The awards...

The four shortlists to be revealed are:

The 2019 Men's Ballon d'Or - 30 nominees

The 2019 Women's Ballon d'Or - 20 nominees

The 2019 Kopa Trophy (awarded to the world's best under-21 player)  - 10 nominees

The 2019 Yachine Trophy (for the year's best men's goalkeeper) - 10 nominees

Bon soir! 

In about an hour's time, France Football is set to reveal its shortlists for no fewer than four awards, chief amongst which are the men's and women's Ballons d'Or. 

Join us as we find out who is in the running!

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