Football News

Ballon d’Or: How Messi pipped Van Dijk in a Premier League dominated race

By Chris Smith

Published: 16:12, 3 December 2019

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi pipped Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to the 2019 Ballon d’Or award by just seven points, it has been revealed.

The Argentinian claimed the prize for a record sixth time after another fine year which saw him seal the La Liga title and, having last claimed the Ballon d’Or back in 2015, he now moves one award ahead of rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

2019 Ballon d’Or top five…

  • Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 686 points.
  • Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – 679 points.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) – 476 points.
  • Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 347 points.
  • Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 178 points.

After winning the Uefa Champions League and Super Cup with Liverpool, reaching the Uefa Nations League final and continuing to be an indomitable defensive force for club and country throughout 2019, many had tipped Van Dijk to become the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

But in the end, his total of 679 points wasn’t enough, with Messi taking 686 points and topping the voting charts in every continent apart from Europe and Asia. Despite not scooping the award, Van Dijk was gracious in defeat, hailing the “unnatural” talents of the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.

“It was an amazing year, but there’s a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural,” he said.

“So you need to respect greatness as well. I was close, but there was just someone a little bit better.

“I’m very proud of what I achieved last year with Liverpool and the Netherlands, and hopefully we can do that again this year. But that will be tough with those guys around here still.”

Ronaldo had to settle for third place with 476 points, while Liverpool forwards Sadio Mane (347) and Mohamed Salah (178) both made the top five.

The top 10 also saw fellow Premier League stars Alisson (67), Bernardo Silva (41) and Riyad Mahrez (33) take their spots, while Raheem Sterling was the highest-ranked Englishman in 12th with 30 points.

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2019 Ballon d’Or points in full

1. Lionel Messi – 686 points
2. Virgil van Dijk – 679 points
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – 476 points
4. Sadio Mane – 347 points
5. Mohamed Salah – 178 points
6. Kylian Mbappe – 89 points
7. Alisson – 67 points
8. Robert Lewandowski – 44 points
9. Bernardo Silva – 41 points
10. Riyad Mahrez – 33 points
11. Frenkie de Jong – 31 points
12. Raheem Sterling – 30 points
13. Eden Hazard – 25 points
14. Kevin de Bruyne – 14 points
15. Matthijs de Ligt – 13 points
16. Sergio Aguero – 12 points
17. Roberto Firmino – 11 points
18. Antoine Griezmann – 9 points
19. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8 points
20= Dusan Tadic – 5 points
20= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5 points
22. Son Heung-min – 4 points
23. Hugo Lloris – 3 points
24= Kalidou Koulibaly – 2 points
24= Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 2 points
26= Karim Benzema – 1 point
26= Georginio Wijnaldum – 1 point
28= Donny van de Beek – 0 points
28= Joao Felix – 0 points
28= Marquinhos – 0 points