Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for, right? The day we find out who has been voted the best player this year.
The ceremony takes place in Paris and starts at 7.45pm local time and will be hosted by former Tottenham and Newcastle winger David Ginola.
The award did count as World player of the year from 2010 until 2015, but is now back as it’s own commodity, although still holds plenty of prestige. First awarded in 1956, the award which translates as ‘Golden Ball’ has been won by many of the world’s greats.
The award is decided by a vote made by journalists from around the globe. 173 votes in total.
Here is the shortlist of who’s in the running for the award…
Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain
N’Golo Kante – Chelsea
Luka Modric – Real Madrid
Paulo Dybala – Juventus
Marcelo – Real Madrid
Edin Dzeko – Roma
Harry Kane – Tottenham
David De Gea – Manchester United
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City
Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
Pierre-Emerick Aubemyang – Borussia Dortmund
Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Mats Hummels – Bayern Munich
Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool
Luis Suarez – Barcelona
Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid
Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
Dries Mertens – Napoli
Radamel Falcao – Monaco
Sadio Mane – Liverpool
Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid
Toni Kroos – Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Leonardo Bonucci – AC Milan
Isco – Real Madrid
Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain
Some huge names in that list and I would like to think that many of them have a great chance of scooping the highly sort after accolade. However, truth be told, it will undoubtedly come down to a likely 2 horse race. Despite 30 players being nominated the last 9 awards have been won by 2 players… Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The former having won 4 and the latter having won 5.
The Real Madrid superstar appears to be the clear favourite this year after recently claiming the Fifa World player of the year award.
So, sit tight and get ready to find out who will be this year’s winner. Will Cristiano be pipped at the post by an outsider? Could Messi defy the odds and claim a 6th Balon D’or. Only time will tell.