On Monday, Lionel Messi became the first and only footballer so far, to lift the Ballon d’Or award for a record sixth time in his career, after winning the award for the year 2019. He faced off stiff competition from Virgil van Dijk, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane among others, to claim the trophy.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 2, 2019
In case you did not know, every year, the winner of the Ballon d’Or is decided after a round of voting by a jury consisting of reputed journalists – one from each country – from all around the world.
Each voter can make a top-five list, consisting of his best five players during that particular calendar year. The player ranked No. 1 receives six points, the No. 2 ranked player receives four points and the remaining three players receive three, two and one point(s) respectively.
The total points received by each individual player based on the votes of each and every member of the jury are then added together, and the player with the most points is declared the winner. The top-ten list for Ballon d’Or 2019, is as follows.
- Lionel Messi
- Virgil van Dijk
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Sadio Mane
- Mohamed Salah
- Kylian Mbappe
- Alisson Becker
- Robert Lewandowski
- Bernardo Silva
- Kevin de Bruyne
It has already been mentioned that each journalist gets to choose his own top-five players, from where the eventual list will be prepared. And as always, there were some truly baffling decisions, as you can see below:
Finland’s top-five were van Dijk, Messi, Ronaldo, Dusan Tadic and Son Heung-min. While the top-three list is quite agreeable, we are yet to figure out – with all due respect – as to how Tadic and Son were better players than Mane, Salah, Mbappe and so on.
Sri Lanka’s entire top-five list is shocking – the Asian nation chose Trent Alexander-Arnold as their best player, followed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Antoine Griezmann, Lewandowski and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Bhutan chose Mane, van Dijk, Salah, Alisson and Roberto Firmino as their top-five players. All-Liverpool! And neither Messi nor Ronaldo could make it!
Alisson, Mane, Mahrez, van Dijk and Mbappe make up Cote d’Ivoire’s top-five. The fact that there is no Messi, Ronaldo or Salah in their list makes their choices peculiar. Also, Mahrez > van Dijk and Mbappe?
Guatemala also made Alisson their top player followed by van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Firmino and Salah. Again, no Messi, no Ronaldo. Sadio Mane is also absent. Also de Jong > Salah, Messi, Ronaldo and Mane?
What do you think of the above choices? Let us know in the comments below.