Ballon D'or awards ceremony on December 3


Liverpool's Dutchman Virgil van Dijk had been the favourite for the award, but Messi has turned things around to be frontrunner. Barcelona's star player got the best score in history to win the award, with 473 points out of 480 possible.

France Football magazine has been awarding the Ballon d'Or since 1956 and created a women's award for the first time past year when Norway's Ada Hegerberg won it. Hegerberg was fourth this time. Luka Modric won the trophy previous year, becoming the first person in a decade other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to be crowned as the best player in the world. The Argentine is the favourite to win the 2019 Golden Ball and here are three reasons why.

Still, at the age of 23, Messi had already been crowned world player of the year twice - with plenty more in store.

Among the names is Ronaldo, as well as several of the stars of the Liverpool side who won the Champions League, chief among them Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk. Leo Messi, this year has been miles ahead of any other player in the world and it would be confirmed once he wins his sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday.

Over the course of 2012 Messi netted an astonishing 91 strikes to beat German legend Gerd Muller's previous record of 85 goals in a calendar year, scoring 79 times for Barcelona and 12 more for Argentina.

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Juventus defender Matthijs De Light won the Kopa Trophy for the best under-21 player, and the inaugural Yashin Trophy given to the year's best men's goalkeeper went to Liverpool's Alisson.

In the post by Casillas, he wrote: "Formula for football: goalkeeper (top) & player (GOAT)".

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two greatest rivals in football and their rivalry has been for more than 10 years.

Voting for the annual award has long-since been concluded, and official confirmation of the victor will be announced on Monday at France Football's award ceremony in Paris. With this award, the Croatian etched his name as one of the greatest players ever to play this wonderful game. Messi scored 54 times for club and country in the 2018-19 season, and despite an injury-hit start to this season has notched 11 goals in 14 games so far.

And all the signs are that he's not done yet...