2019 Ballon d’Or: The 2019 Ballon d’Or award ceremony is taking place this evening, with some of the best footballers on the planet poised to see if they are handed Europe’s top individual accolade.
Luka Modric was crowned winner in 2018, pipping Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to the prize after winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and finishing as a runner-up in the World Cup with Croatia.
But this year the Ballon d’Or is expected to end up in the hands of Lionel Messi or Virgil van Dijk.
Messi has netted an eye-watering 40 goals in 43 matches in 2019, inspiring Barcelona to a second successive Spanish league title.
As for Van Dijk, he was desperately unlucky not to get his hands on the Premier League title, with Liverpool somehow missing out despite finishing on 97 points.
The Dutch defender did get his hands on the Champions League, nevertheless, and has also helped Jurgen Klopp’s side move eight points clear at the top of the Premier League this season.
Yet it remains to be seen who comes out on top when football’s biggest stars come together at FIFA’s annual gala tonight.
When does the 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony start?
This year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony is taking place on Monday 2 December at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
Proceedings are expected to get underway at 4pm GMT (11am ET), with former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and journalist Sandy Heribert set to host the awards.
It will be the 64th ceremony in the history of the prize.
How can I watch the awards take place?
There has been no official confirmation regarding the broadcast in the UK, but the event will be shown live on beIN Sports in the US.
But France Football’s official website is expected to carry out a live stream in similar fashion to last year’s ceremony.
You can also follow all the latest developments on Starsport.
Who are the favourites to win it? (Odds – Paddy Power)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 1/12 FAV
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – 6/1
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – 33/1
Alisson (Liverpool) – 100/1
Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 100/1
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 100/1
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 275/1