Ballon d'Or 2019: Live Stream, TV Info, Start Time, Finalists and Prediction

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 2, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool and Lionel Messi of Barcelona watch the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

World football will crown a new king for 2019 on Monday when Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo go head-to-head in the hope of winning this year's Ballon d'Or.

Barcelona star Messi, 32, is the favourite to win the award for the first time since 2015.

Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe is also fighting to make the Ballon d'Or podium for the first time in his career, but titleholder Luka Modric failed to make the 30-man shortlist this year, per ESPN FC:

Antoine Griezmann has finished third in two of the past three Ballon d'Or votes, but the France international could struggle to feature as prominently on Monday after struggling for form since joining Barca in the summer.

France Football live-streamed the awards ceremony in 2018 and is expected to do so again for this year's edition, which is expected to begin at around 5:30 p.m. GMT (12:30 p.m. ET).

        

Ceremony Date: Monday, December 2

Venue: Theatre du Chatelet, Paris

         

Preview

It seems odd to think Messi stands a chance of ending a four-year Ballon d'Or drought, having failed to even finish among the top three in 2018 and placing second in successive years prior to that.

The Argentina international continues to mesmerise with Barcelona week in, week out, demonstrating his persistent class with a goal and two assists in the recent 3-1 UEFA Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund (U.S. viewers only):

Even Dortmund defender Mats Hummels had to marvel at Messi as the "best player" he's seen in his lifetime following the game, via DW Sports:

Cristiano Ronaldo is fighting to retain his spot in the award's pecking order having helped Juventus retain the Serie A crown and leading Portugal to glory in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League.

However, those are team achievements, and Ronaldo's own contributions—namely at club level—weren't quite up to his usual standards. 

The 34-year-old won his maiden Scudetto and was named Serie A's most valuable player for 2018-19, but he scored just 28 goals last season, his lowest tally for a campaign since he left Manchester United in 2009.

However, the Portugal captain continued to shine for his country and scored 14 times in 10 international appearances in 2019—he's never scored more goals for his nation in any other calendar year.

Van Dijk's Netherlands lost to Portugal in the UEFA Nations League final, although the defender did lift last term's Champions League trophy with Liverpool.

That ended a 14-year wait for the Reds to win European silverware, and Anfield legend Steven Gerrard—now manager at Rangers—told reporters the 28-year-old deserves to win the Ballon d'Or (h/t Anfield Watch):

Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to lift the Ballon d'Or after his Italy side won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Absurd as it may sound, it seems unlikely Van Dijk has done enough to end that run just yet.

Messi sits level with Ronaldo on five Ballon d'Or awards apiece, but another goal-laden year should pave the way to a sixth crown on Monday.

Prediction: Lionel Messi wins his sixth Ballon d'Or, Van Dijk second, Ronaldo third

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