How to watch Ballon d'Or tonight

Villas-Boas backs Ronaldo

Iker Casillas names Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer ever

Giorgio Chiellini was happy for Lionel Messi to win this year's Ballon d, but the Juventus defender dropped the "theft" that meant Cristiano Ronaldo was missing in 2018.

Liverpool's Dutchman Virgil van Dijk had been the favourite for the award, but Messi has turned things around to be frontrunner.

Fans and football enthusiasts can tune in to watch the entire awards ceremony LIVE on Star Sports Select 1 /HD at 1 a.m. IST on December 3. Luka Modric won the trophy a year ago, becoming the first person in a decade other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to be crowned as the best player in the world.

Leo Messi's mark on football began in 2009, at least as far as Ballon D'Or awards are concerned.

But even at 32, Messi is continuing to show brilliance week in, week out - which makes him a fitting victor of the award for a record sixth time.

As Messi revels in what many see as confirmation of his GOAT status, we look back at how he achieved his remarkable Ballon d'Or haul.

Yet surely nobody could suggest Rapinoe would not be a deserving victor of just the second women's Ballon d'Or, an award voted for by a panel of 48 journalists. Barcelona fell short in the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey but Messi's tally of 51 goals last season can not be overlooked and that makes him one of the top contenders to take home the prestigious award.

Still, at the age of 23, Messi had already been crowned world player of the year twice - with plenty more in store. Messi is expected to win the award after following up a stellar 2018/19 season with ten goals in 13 appearances for Barcelona.

"It's been an awesome year, I was close but unfortunately there are a couple of players like (Messi)". He was LaLiga's top goalscorer as Barcelona won the title again and was Europe's top scorer with 26 goals.

It came after a year in which Barca claimed an incredible five-trophy haul, including Champions League and La Liga titles.

Who do you think will win the 2019 Ballon d'Or?

He was among seven Liverpool players nominated, beside goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

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