Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are favourites to be named for the Ballon d’Or 2019 after already being named in the top three for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year awards. However, the following five stars have an outside chance of winning the Ballon d’Or in 2019.
#5. Alisson Becker
Lev Yashin is the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or and in 2014, Manuel Neuer came in the third position. Alisson Becker has a very small chance of becoming only the second goalkeeper to win the prestigious award after an impressive season for both club and country.
Liverpool signed Alisson for a then-record fee for a goalkeeper and he played a crucial role in the club’s success. The Reds had the best defensive record in Europe’s Top 5 leagues last season and he kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League and also in the Champions League. In addition, he also picked up the Golden Glove at the Copa America this summer which he helped his country win.
The Brazilian’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or could have been enhanced if it wasn’t for the injury he picked up at the start of the season. However, in a recent interview, he admitted that’s difficult for a goalkeeper to win the award.
#4. Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah has evolved into one of the best players in the world at Liverpool and in his two seasons at the club, he has broken numerous records and won a plethora of individual awards.
Last season, the Egyptian scored 27 goals and provided ten assists in all competitions and in the process, he won a second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot. He also scored six goals for his country in only seven appearances but he could not help them win the African Cup of Nations.
The 27-year-old has started the ongoing season in brilliant form. He already has three goals and two assists to his name in only four Premier League games and also helped the Reds win the UEFA Super Cup.
#3. Bernado Silva
Strictly in terms of trophies won, no player had a better season than Bernardo Silva. He won all four domestic trophies with Manchester City before lifting the UEFA Nations League trophy with Portugal.
Last season, Silva predominantly played in midfield due to Kevin De Bruyne’s long-term injury and he was named in the PFA Team of the Year for his consistent performances. In all competitions for Manchester City, he racked up 13 goals and assists each. At the international level, Silva was named the UEFA Nations League Finals Player of the Tournament for his contributions to Portugal’s triumph.
This season the 25-year-old has started just two of Man City’s four Premier League games and if Pep Guardiola doesn’t start him more often, then his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or will fade.
#2. Sadio Mane
The 2018/19 season was the most prolific season of Sadio Mane’s career so far as he scored 26 goals in only 50 games across all competitions and also shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Senegalese international has earned a reputation for being a clutch player for the Reds. For instance, he earned the first-minute penalty in the Champions League final in 2019 and scored Liverpool’s only goal in the final in 2018.
Mane also led Senegal to the final of the AFCON in the summer and scored three goals at the tournament. However, he couldn’t help them beat Algeria in the final.
The 27-year-old has started the current season in excellent form. He already has four goals in only four games which includes a brace against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup match which helped the Reds win.
#1. Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has evolved into one of the best players in the world under Pep Guardiola and if he keeps up his current form, then he will have more than just an outside chance of winning the Ballon d’Or.
Sterling scored a career highest 25 goals last season for Manchester City in addition to providing 15 assists in only 51 games across all competitions. His contributions helped the Citizens win four trophies in 2019 including the domestic treble.
The 24-year-old’s performance for England has also been exceptional. He scored only twice for the Three Lions in his first 45 appearances but in his next eight appearances, he scored eight goals. He has six goals and four assists in England’s four Euro qualification matches in 2019!
This season, Sterling scored against his former club Liverpool in the Community Sheild Match and also has five goals in only four Premier League matches.