Messi, Rapinoe expected to take Ballon d'Or honours

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was second in the polling this year, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who shared the record of five Ballon d'Ors with Messi until Monday.

Alisson Becker is expected to win the Yashin Award and Jadon Sancho is thought to be the Best Young Player.

Ballon d'Or is the most prestigious individual award in the footballing world and is awarded to the best performer over the course of the entire year.

Luka Modric picked up the prize previous year, becoming the first player in a decade to beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the prize.

Federation Internationale de Football Association merged their player of the year award with the Ballon d'Or in 2010, and Messi was the first to win the title as he picked up a second consecutive gong.

Lionel Messi's outstanding start to 2019 made him the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d'Or but a Champions League loss to Vigil van Dijk's Liverpool made the race even more exciting.

"I hope to continue for a long time", Messi said on Monday in Paris from behind a row of the trophies which honour the world's best soccer player.

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What TV channel is Ballon d'Or on tonight?

Over the course of 2012 Messi netted an astonishing 91 strikes to beat German legend Gerd Muller's previous record of 85 goals in a calendar year, scoring 79 times for Barcelona and 12 more for Argentina.

"Formula for football: goalkeeper top & player (GOAT)". So far this year, Messi has 41 goals in 44 games.

The year did not yield many trophies for Lionel Messi as he only won the La Liga title but one can not overlook the fact that the Argentine had a spectacular season on an individual basis.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two greatest rivals in football and their rivalry has been for more than 10 years.

The ceremony will happen on the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on Monday night. The awards for 2019 will see a closely contested contest between the world's greatest footballers as 30 candidates from around the world and different leagues have been nominated for the award. In 2018-19 the forward scored 51 goals and gave 22 assists.

And all the signs are that he's not done yet...

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