The Finalists For The Men’s And Women’s 2019 Ballon d’Or Award Have Been Revealed

Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe are the favorites, but stranger things have happened.

On Monday, France Football (over the course of five ridiculous hours) released its 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or prize, as well as a 20-player shortlist for the Ballon d'Or Féminin. Last year, Luka Modrić broke Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s combined 10-year stranglehold on the game’s most prestigious individual award, but Messi is again the favorite this year after leading Barcelona to the Spanish league title while capturing his sixth European Golden Shoe.

A victory for Messi would see him break a current deadlock with Ronaldo with regards to the most wins by a single player — the Argentine and Portuguese legends have both won it five times. 

Messi’s closest competitor will likely be Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk. 

On the women’s side, Lyon’s Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural Ballon d'Or Féminin last year, and she’d again be a potential winner if not for her decision to sit out the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup due to an ongoing dispute with the Norwegian Football Federation over a lack of commitment to the women’s game.

The award will likely go to either Megan Rapinoe or Alex Morgan for the roles they played in the USWNT’s fourth World Cup title. Other U.S. stars on the shortlist include Rose Lavelle and Tobin Heath.

Men’s Ballon d’Or Shortlist 2019

  1. Sadio Mané | Liverpool and Senegal
  2. Hugo Lloris | Tottenham and France
  3. Dušan Tadić | Ajax and Serbia
  4. Frenkie de Jong | Ajax/Barcelona and Netherlands
  5. Sergio Agüero | Manchester City and Argentina
  6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Arsenal and Gabon
  7. Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool and England
  8. Marc-Andre ter Stegen | Barcelona and Germany
  9. Kylian Mbappé | PSG and France
  10. Donny van de Beek | Ajax and Netherlands
  11. Karim Benzema | Real Madrid and France
  12. Georginio Wijnaldum | Liverpool and Netherlands
  13. Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus and Portugal
  14. Alisson | Liverpool and Brazil
  15. Matthijs de Ligt | Ajax/Juventus and Netherlands
  16. Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool and Netherlands
  17. Bernardo Silva | Manchester City and Portugal
  18. Son Heung-min | Tottenham and South Korea
  19. Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich and Poland
  20. Roberto Firmino | Liverpool and Brazil
  21. Lionel Messi | Barcelona and Argentina
  22. Riyad Mahrez | Manchester City and Algeria
  23. Kevin De Bruyne | Manchester City and Belgium
  24. Kalidou Koulibaly | Napoli and Senegal
  25. Antoine Griezmann | Atletico Madrid/Barcelona and France
  26. Mohamed Salah | Liverpool and Egypt
  27. Eden Hazard | Chelsea/Real Madrid and Belgium
  28. Marquinhos | PSG and Brazil
  29. Raheem Sterling | Manchester City and England
  30. João Félix | Benfica/Atletico Madrid and Portugal

With regards to who's not among the finalists, Modrić has gone from winning it to missing out completely, and Neymar — after finishing third in both 2015 and 2017 — has also dropped off. 

Women's Ballon d’Or Shortlist 2019

  1. Sam Kerr | Chicago Red Stars and Australia 
  2. Ellen White | Manchester City and England 
  3. Nilla Fischer | Linköpings FC and Sweden 
  4. Amandine Henry | Lyon and France
  5. Lucy Bronze | Lyon and England 
  6. Alex Morgan | Orlando Pride and USWNT 
  7. Vivianne Miedema | Arsenal and Netherlands 
  8. Dzenifer Marozsan | Lyon and Germany 
  9. Pernille Harder | Wolfsburg and Denmark 
  10. Sarah Bouhaddi | Lyon and France
  11. Kosovare Asllani | CD Tacón and Sweden
  12. Ada Hegerberg | Lyon and Norway
  13. Tobin Heath | Portland Thorns and USWNT
  14. Sofia Jakobsson | CD Tacón and Sweden
  15. Rose Lavelle | Washington Spirit and USWNT
  16. Marta | Orlando Pride and Brazil
  17. Lieke Martens | Barcelona and Netherlands
  18. Megan Rapinoe | Reign FC and USWNT
  19. Wendie Renard | Lyon and France
  20. Sari van Veenendal | Atlético Madrid and Netherlands 

And here are the finalists for the Kopa Trophy, France Football’s (not really necessary) answer to the Golden Boy award. The clear favorite is Matthijs de Ligt. 

France Football is now also giving away a goalkeeper award — the Yacine Trophy — because why not. Alisson is the favorite after winning both the Champions League and Copa America.

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