Leaked Result Appears To Confirm Messi As Ballon D’Or Winner

The 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place on Monday, December 2, and pictures in circulation appear to show Lionel Messi has won the award in male category ahead of the announcement.

Ballon d’Or front runners Virgil van Dijk and Lionel Messi both provided timely reminders as to why they are in contention to pick up the France Football’s coveted award.

Lionel Messi scored Barcelona’s winning goal at Atletico Madrid on Sunday night. Michael Hincks was at the Wanda Metropolitano to watch the Argentine produce the goods once more on the eve of the Ballon d’Or announcement…

It was a golden goal from the man looking to lift his sixth golden ball, and having pipped Van Dijk to win FIFA’s The Best award in September, there is a growing belief that Messi will be crowned the world’s best men’s player once more.

Meanwhile, Van Dijk took centre stage on Saturday, with his double of headers against Brighton helping Liverpool maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

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Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde ahead of the match said, “If you have to give it to the best, let’s just give it to Messi and the problem is solved.” Reports suggest they have done just that.

It is impossible to ignore the noise that Messi has reportedly already been informed of his triumph.

“All roads lead to Messi winning the Ballon d’Or,” read Marca’s headline last week, with the Spanish paper claiming two France Football representatives were in Barcelona to give the Argentine the news.

The meeting was neither confirmed or denied to Marca, but a ‘leaked picture’ claiming to be the results added further fuel to the rumours that Messi has won.

Adding to the rumour, a ‘leaked picture’ appeared to show Lionel Messi place first ahead of Virgil van Dijk in the Ballon d’Or running.

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The picture, which was doing the rounds on social media on Sunday, placed Messi first ahead of Van Dijk, with Mohamed Salah third and Cristiano Ronaldo fourth.

It would add to the ever-growing list of accolades won by Messi, who lifted La Liga earlier this year and marked his 700th Barcelona appearance with a goal against Borussia Dortmund last week.

However, Messi having missed out in the Champions League, Messi’s potential Ballon d’Or win would perhaps raise the debate that forwards get a stats-based boost over defenders when it comes to being considered for awards.

The glitz that comes with goals and assists somewhat outshines the clean sheets and dogged work done by defenders, and centre-back Van Dijk – who spearheaded Liverpool’s Champions League victory and 97-point haul in the Premier League – may feel his position meant he was always going to miss out.

Van Dijk was one of five defenders among the 30 Ballon d’Or nominees announced in October, while Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the award in 2006.

Similarly, Croatia’s Luka Modric had won last year thanks to his exploits in dragging his country to the World Cup final and winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. That ended a decade in which Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had won the Ballon d’Or five times each.

There are 30 nominees in total for the men’s prize, organised by France Football magazine and voted for by 180 journalists from around the world.

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