Ballon d’Or 2019 results: Voting in full as Lionel Messi beats Virgil van Dijk – and bizarre selections revealed

Jack de Menezes
The Independent
France Football
France Football

The full voting lists for the 2019 Ballon d’Or has been released in full, revealing how close the vote was between top two Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk as well as the more bizarre nominations.

Once the votes were counted up, Messi came out on top for the sixth time in his career by just a slender seven votes over Van Dijk, with the 686 to 679 result the slimmest margin of victory since he first claimed the award in 2009.

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It sees Messi regain the crown as the world’s best footballer for the first time since 2015 after back-to-back wins for Cristiano Ronaldo and last year’s winner Luka Modric, but the way that different nations voted often provides far more intrigue than the actual result.

Votes are cast through France Football by a leading journalist or broadcaster from each of the 176 voting nations, with each selecting a top five from the 30-man shortlist. Top picks are allocated five points towards their overall total, with the number then descending down the list.

It is no surprise to see that in the battle between a Premier League star and La Liga’s, England’s representative Henry Winter of The Times went in favour of Van Dijk ahead of Messi in his top two, though the same cannot be said of Spain’s Alfredo Relano of Madrid-based AS, who not only selected Van Dijk as his first choice but placed Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Messi.

Taking in how different continents voted, Van Dijk emerged on top across Europe and Asia, with Messi dominating in Africa, North America, South America and Oceania. Pivotally for Van Dijk though, the African nations voted his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane in second place behind Messi, putting the forward 16 votes ahead of the Dutch centre-back and costing him the Ballon d’Or.

Across the five other regions, Messi and Van Dijk filled the top two, meaning that had the vote played out the same in Africa with Van Dijk and Mane reversed, the Liverpool defender would have beaten Messi to the footballer of the year award.

But perhaps the best votes are those who evaded the regular names and went for the more obscure players included on the shortlist. For example, Sri Lanka’s Hafiz Marikar of the Daily News selected also chose a Liverpool player as his best player, but it was neither Van Dijk nor Mane – or even Mohamed Salah – as Trent Alexander-Arnold came out on top. To make matters even more interesting, there was no space for Messi, Van Dijk, Ronaldo, Mane or Salah – or indeed any of the overall top seven players – within his top five.

Instead, Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Barcelona pair Antoine Griezmann and Merc-Andre ter Stegen and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski made up Marikar’s top five.

Another standout list came from Bhutan, where freelance reporter Passang Norbu was responsible for the selection and nominated Mane, Van Dijk, Salah, Alisson and Roberto Firmino, though the jury is still out on who Norbu supports in their spare time.

Here’s the full list of nominations.

(France Football)
(France Football)
(France Football)
(France Football)
(France Football)
(France Football)
(France Football)
(France Football)

Ballon d’or 2019 votes in full

1. Lionel Messi – 686

2. Virgil van Dijk – 679

3. Cristiano Ronaldo – 476

4. Sadio Mane – 347

5. Mohamed Salah – 178

6. Kylian Mbappe – 89

7. Alisson – 67

8. Robert Lewandowski – 44

9. Bernardo Silva – 41

10. Riyad Mahrez – 33

11. Frenkie de Jong – 31

12. Raheem Sterling – 30

13. Eden Hazard – 25

14. Kevin de Bruyne – 14

15. Matthijs de Ligt – 13

16. Sergio Aguero – 12

17. Roberto Firmino – 11

18. Antoine Griezmann – 9

19. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8

=20. Dusan Tadic – 5

=20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5

22. Son Heung-min – 4

23. Hugo Lloris – 3

=24. Kalidou Koulibaly – 2

=24. Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 2

=26. Karim Benzema – 1

=26. Giorginio Wijnaldum – 1

=28. Donny van de Beek – 0

=28. Joao Felix – 0

=28. Marquinhos – 0

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