- The Ballon d’Or ceremony starts at 7.30pm
- The winners of both the men and women’s awards will be announced over the course of the evening
- Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk are among the favourites for the men’s award, while Megan Rapinoe is favourite for the women’s
And that’s a wrap!
Messi a deserved winner
While it would have been nice to see a defender given the accolade for the first time this decade, few can really argue with Lionel Messi winning the Ballon d’Or for a record sixth time.
Where Van Dijk has been incomparable at centre-back for Liverpool and was a huge factor in them winning the Champions League, Messi scored 51 goals in 50 appearances last season and that is simply otherworldly. The Ballon d’Or has always favoured goalscorers over defenders, but Messi remains a genuine phenomenon and that has been reflected in the result.
Fourth, third and second go to...
Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk respectively.
Slightly awkward handover...
The Messi love-in begins
Messi wins his 6th Ballon d’Or. His numbers this year are once again truly extraordinary. He’s head and shoulders the best player in world football. He plays a game that is both joyous and incomprehensible to mere mortals. The award is totally meritorious. ��������— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 2, 2019
Messi now has as many Ballons D'Or as Man City & Chelsea have league titles— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) December 2, 2019
The big moment
Lionel Messi is the men’s Ballon d’Or winner!
We could pretend that it’s a surprise, but it really isn’t.
Hat tip to Lucy Bronze
Remember the wondergoal she scored against Norway at the Women’s World Cup? She deserved to be in contention for that alone, honestly.
Back to the men’s rankings
Kylian Mbappe comes in sixth, while Mohamed Salah is fifth.
Accolades pour in for Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe wins women’s Ballon d’Or
It’s the result which everyone was expecting.
Having won the Women’s World Cup in the summer with the USA, Rapinoe gets her hands on the award. England defender Lucy Bronze comes in second, while USA striker Alex Morgan is third.
Alisson ranked seventh for men’s Ballon d’Or
... as well as winning the Yachine Trophy. Not a bad night, all told.
Shall we watch some of Alisson’s best saves?
Oh, go on then.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ederson are runners-up
Alisson winning it over Ederson? Ah well, we needed at least one Twitter-melting controversy.
Alisson wins the Yachine Trophy
... as awarded for the first time to the best-performing goalkeeper.
The trophy is named after Lev Yashin, the legendary Soviet Union keeper of the 1950s and 60s.
Not sure that’s how it works...
Here comes the men’s Ballon d’Or countdown...
Riyad Mahrez is 10th, Bernardo Silva is ninth and Robert Lewandowski is eighth.
Mahrez won a domestic treble with Manchester City and the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria. Silva was another top performer for City and won the Uefa Nations League with Portugal. Lewandowski, meanwhile, has been in superhuman scoring form for Bayern Munich. Nothing new there, then.
Sancho narrowly misses out
Matthijs de Ligt just edged out Jadon Sancho to the Kopa Trophy, having helped Ajax to a domestic double and the semi-finals of the Champions League last season before joining Juventus in the summer for £67.5m.
Sancho tore it up for Borussia Dortmund last term, though BVB ultimately didn’t win anything. Joao Felix came in third, having earned a big move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid.
And the winner of the 2019 Kopa Trophy is...
Luka Modric, Ada Hegerberg and Kylian Mbappe in the house
Modric won the 2018 men’s Ballon d’Or, Hegerberg won the women’s award, while Mbappe won the Kopa Trophy which is granted to the best-performing player under the age of 21.
That is a collection of seriously good footballers, right there.
Messi looking vaguely nervous
Probably no need, if we’re honest.
Everyone seems fairly confident that he’ll get his hands on the award for the sixth time.
Let’s meet our hosts for the evening
Stars arrive with the ceremony due to start in less than five minutes
There will be ‘ no losers’ this evening
Virgil Van Dijk’s hopes of winning the Ballon d’Or look to have been scuppered by Lionel Messi, but the Dutchman insists there will “no losers” at the ceremony on Monday.
The Liverpool centre-half is heading to the Paris presentation gala amid reports Barcelona’s Messi has already been informed that he has won the vote.
An apparently leaked document placed Messi first in the vote for the best player in the world, ahead of Van Dijk second and his Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah in third.
A victory for 32-year-old Messi would earn him the award for a record sixth time, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Van Dijk has already won Uefa player of the year after a superb 12 months in which his side won the Champions League and now lead the Premier League by eight points. “There are no losers on that evening,” Van Dijk said. “I am very proud to be in that bracket, be in there for the way I performed with the team last year and also with the country. It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kind of things. There are no losers that evening – we’ll see what happens.”
Megan Rapinoe, the United States talisman, is favourite to add the women’s Ballon d’Or to her World Cup winners’ medal from the summer. The 34-year-old had an outstanding tournament, also winning the Golden Boot for the top scorer and the Golden Ball for best player.
England’s Lucy Bronze, Holland striker Vivianne Miedema and Sam Kerr of Australia are among the other players shortlisted. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg will not retain her title after missing the World Cup.
By Chris Bascombe