The Barcelona star is expected to go head-to-head with his old foe and the new pretender once again for the right to be crowned best in the world
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Virgil van Dijk are expected to be among the 30 nominees for the 2019 Ballon d’Or as they contest the crown of the best player in the world.
Barcelona captain Messi is in the hunt for his sixth Ballon d’Or, having last won the accolade in 2015 and will be hoping to add it to his collection having already scooped FIFA’s The Best award in September.
Juventus forward Ronaldo, whose last Ballon d’Or triumph came in 2017, could also potentially win the award for the sixth time, while Van Dijk if he is chosen, would become the first defender to win it since Paolo Cannavaro in 2006.
You can see all the confirmed nominees for the 2019 Ballon d’Or in the full list of contenders below:
#1 Sadio Mane | Liverpool | Senegal
Mane had an impressive third season with Liverpool where he lifted the Champions League trophy and finished Premier League runners-up, and picked up the Golden Boot with 22 goals.
#2 Sergio Aguero | Manchester City | Argentina
The Argentina international had another prolific season with Manchester City, clinching the domestic treble in the Premier League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup.
#3 Frenkie de Jong | Ajax/Barcelona | Netherlands
De Jong had a breakthrough season with Ajax that earned him a move to Barcelona in January 2019, finishing the season as Eredivisie champions and Champions League semi-finalists, eliminating the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in a memorable European campaign.
#4 Dusan Tadic | Ajax | Serbia
Tadic also had a monumental campaign in his first season at Ajax, netting two assists and claiming a man-of-the-match performance in the victorious 4-1 second-leg win over Real Madrid in the UCL.
#5 Hugo Lloris | Tottenham | France
The World Cup-winning France captain led his side to fourth place in the Premier League and a first-ever Champions League final appearance for Tottenham.
#6 Kylian Mbappe | PSG | France
The France superstar scored a monumental 39 goals in 18-19, lifting the Ligue 1 title.
#7 Trent-Alexander Arnold | Liverpool | England
Alexander-Arnold won the Champions League with Liverpool and racked up 16 assists during the 18-19 season, breaking the record for the most Premier League assists by a defender in a single campaign.
#8 Donny van de Beek | Ajax | Netherlands
Van de Beek played a pivotal role as Ajax’s attacking midfielder in their victorious Eredivisie campaign, scoring against Juventus in the second leg of the UCL quarter-final to knock out the Serie A champions.
#9 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Arsenal | Gabon
Aubameyang finished the Premier League season as joint-Golden Boot winner alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on 22 goals, with Arsenal finishing the campaign fifth in the league and as Europa League finalists.
#10 Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus | Portugal
Ronaldo lifted the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana in his debut season at Juventus and captained his Portugal side to Nations League glory when they beat the Netherlands in the final.
#11 Alisson | Liverpool | Brazil
Alisson had a glittering first season for Liverpool after moving to Anfield from Roma in 2018, clinching the Champions League trophy and winning the Copa America with Brazil.
#12 Matthijs de Ligt | Ajax/Juventus | Netherlands
De Ligt is another member of Ajax’s ‘golden’ side from 2018-19, playing a crucial role in their Eredivisie success and status as UCL semi-finalists – with his abilities earning him a €75 million move to Juventus in the summer.
#13 Karim Benzema | Real Madrid | France
Despite Real Madrid underperforming by their standards – they failed to win a trophy in 2018-19 – Benzema still had an impressive season for Los Blancos, netting 30 goals in all competitions.
#14 Georginio Wijnaldum | Liverpool | Netherlands
Wijnaldum scored two crucial goals against Barcelona for Liverpool in the historic UCL semi-final tie at Anfield that allowed them to progress to the final, where they were crowned European champions.
#15 Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool | Netherlands
Van Dijk had a standout second season with Liverpool, playing a crucial role as his side lifted a sixth Champions League trophy and finished second in the league.
#16 Bernardo Silva | Manchester City | Portugal
Silva impressed for Pep Guardiola’s side as his team was crowned domestic treble champions, while also winning the Nations League with Portugal.
#17 Heung-min Son | Tottenham | South Korea
Son continued his impressive form for Tottenham, scoring 20 goals in all competitions as the North Londoners reached their first Champions League final.
#18 Robert Lewandowski | Bayern | Poland
Lewandowski finished the campaign as the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer with 22 goals for the fourth time, scooping up the German title, DFB Pokal and DFL Supercup.
#19 Roberto Firmino | Liverpool | Brazil
Firmino has continued to play a crucial role in a Liverpool attack that involves fellow Ballon d’Or nominees, Salah and Mane, scooping up the UCL with the Reds and Copa America with Brazil.
#20 Marc-Andre ter Stegen | Barcelona | Germany
Ter Stegen lifted the Liga trophy with Barcelona as the club’s first-choice shot-stopper.
Messi, Ronaldo and Van Dijk, who will go home with Ballon d’Or 2019? Drop your comment in the comment box.