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FIFA World Player of the Year Odds - Ballon d'Or Betting 2019

Ballon d'Or & FIFA World Player - © FIFA

Every year one player gets the honour of being crowned the greatest player on the planet. That’s no small feat. The top two individual world player awards have always been the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year. These two awards were briefly merged for six years to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or from 2010 through to 2015.

But then the partnership ended and now the Ballon d’Or is back fully to its origins of being presented by the famous magazine France Football. FIFA went and rebranded their own award to The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award. 

Ballon d’Or 2019 Outright Winner Odds*

Virgil Van Dijk 1/5 1/4 1/4
Lionel Messi 10/3 9/4 10/3
Cristiano Ronaldo 33/1 16/1 33/1

(Betting Odds were taken from Betfair, William Hill and Paddy Power on September 18, 2019 at 9:18 pm)

Ballon d’Or Betting at William Hill

The Awards

While it is two different awards essentially for the same thing (honouring the best player in the world) there are subtle differences.

Ballon d’Or

  • Voted on journalists
  • For performances in a given calendar year (January 1st – December 31st)

FIFA The Best Men’s Award

  • Voted on by a selected panel (usually former players)
  • For performances over a given season, usually July to July including any major summer tournaments

Before 2007 the award was only available to all players at European clubs. That had developed itself from the original format of just European players being in contention for the award. Now both awards are open to everyone.

Before the final awards are announced there are shortlists announced for both. This really is just a very wide snapshot of most of what could be called the elite players in the world. But of those top players, there are a few players who are head and shoulders above them all and who are ever likely to win it.

That has been proven in the modern editions of the Ballon d’Or. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won so many awards between them. In fact, in the decade that the FIFA Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or awards were merged, between them Messi and Ronaldo swept all of the titles. Nobody else had a look in.

2019 Ballon d’or Preview

Fast forward twelve months. Who will be crowned the Ballon d’Or 2019 winner? Who has done enough since the turn of the new year to stand above the rest? The leading contender is Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman was both the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award winner and the Premier League Player of the Season 2018/19.

That should put him really good standing for the Ballon d’Or 2019 award. While it is Liverpool’s power-trio of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Fimrino who take all the headlines, Van Dijk has been equally as important. Just in a totally different role to the others.

Since forcing his former club Southampton to sell him to Liverpool in January 2018, Van Dijk has become the calming influence in what used to be a rocky Liverpool defence. The Reds leaked goals badly in the 2017/18 Premier League. But Van Dijk fixed all that in playing his first full season at the heart of the defence in their 2018/19 title challenge.

The Reds once again couldn’t beat Man City to the EPL title. However, they came away with a huge prize nonetheless at the end of the 2018/19 season. The Champions League title. It was Van Dijk who was their standout performer time and time again in the campaign. Somewhat fittingly he helped his side earn a clean sheet in the final as they beat Tottenham 2-0.

Liverpool defender to win Ballon d’Or 2019?

Ballon d’Or 2019 Preview & Predictions

2018 Ballon d’Or Edition

There was a major shake up in last year’s Ballon d’Or award. That is because for the first time since 2008 the winner was neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. The top honour went instead to Real Madrid’s Croatian star Luka Modric. It was, after all, a pretty massive year for the midfielder.

Modric was one of the star performers at the 2018 World Cup. His performances were pivotal in helping Croatia reach the Final of the tournament for the first time in the country’s history. Modric won the Golden Ball at the tournament, despite Croatia losing 4-2 in the final to hosts France.

He walked away with three Man of the Man awards for his World Cup campaign as well. That World Cup success came after Modric had won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid for the fourth time in his career. He had also fittingly won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award, the World Soccer Player of the Year and The Best FIFA men’s Player 2018.

Going back to the Ballon d’Or 2018, Modric took 753 points in the voting, well ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo on 478 and it was Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Greizmann who came third in the voting. For the first time since 2007, Lionel Messi had failed to make it into the top three for the Ballon d’Or.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award 2019 Outright Winner Odds*

Van Dijk Messi Ronaldo
19/10 47/20 27/20

* (All betting odds displayed were correct as of September 20th, 2019 at 11:05)

The Best FIFA Awards Betting at Unibet

2019 The Best FIFA Awards Preview

The shortlist of ten for 2019 The Best FIFA Men’s Player award was Mo Salah, Kylian Mbappe, Sadio Mane, Matthijs de Light, Harry Kane, Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk. That’s some star power there.

In early September the field was narrowed down to Ronaldo, Messi and Van Dijk. It is expected that it will be the rare sight of a defender picking up the award in 2019, which means Liverpool’s Van Dijk is the favourite. The Awards will be handed out on Septmber 23rd, 2019.

After helping Liverpool come agonisingly close to winning the Premier League title, to guiding the Netherlands to the Nations League finals, to lifting the Champions League it’s hard to top his achievements.

People have been falling over themselves to give him awards this year. He was named the best player in the Premier League, the best UEFA player, was UEFA’s Defender of the season and the list goes on. Breaking it down, neither Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a slow start to life in Juventus nor Messi (who produced some phenomenal numbers last season) have done enough to top VVD. It was domestic titles only for Ronaldo and Messi. It means that they may have to wait longer to see if they can break the tie between them of having been crowned the best player in the world five times each.

The shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2019 consists of Lucy Bronze, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. This is a tough one to call. England’s Bronze had a World Cup semi-final on top of winning the Champions League with Lyon. Alex Morgan had another stellar year of goalscoring, but the stand out star of the 2019 Women’s World Cup was Megan Rapnioe, without question. Will her goal-scoring exploits at the World Cup this year, tip things in her favour?

2018 The Best FIFA Awards Review

So it was to be Luka Modric’s year. The Croatian took the FIFA award with more than 29% of the votes in the end. Even before the three semi-finalists were announced (Modric, Ronaldo and Salah) Modric had been the odds on favourite. More likely than not had 2018 not been a World Cup year and Croatia had made it no further say than the quarter-finals, Modric likely wouldn’t have won.

But the World Cup was the icing on the cake for Modric who beat out Ronaldo in the voting, with Mo Salah coming home in third place. The only player not in the top three who earned more than 10% of the voting was France and PSG star Kylian Mbappe who did also have a huge World Cup tournament. But it was Modric’s Champions League title that year which tipped it in his favour. Lionel Messi, who had been hampered by injury, was fifth in the voting.

Brazilian superstar Marta took the women’s title. The voting on the women’s side was pretty close with Marta taking 14.7% of the votes. That was enough to pip Germany’s Dzenifer Marozsan to the title, the Lyon player taking just under 13% of the votes. Because of Lyon’s dominance in the women’s European domestic game, it was expected to be her or Lyon team mate Ada Hegerberg who would win outright. Not only then was Marta’s win a shock, but Hegerberg coming third in the voting equally so. England’s Lucy Bronze was 6th in the voting.

History Of Winners

If you are talking about handing over the award for the best player in the world then you are naturally going to look back through the history of the honour and see a glittering array of the world’s greatest football names. The first edition of the Ballon d’Or was handed over in 1956 and it went to Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews.

In the history of the award, the greats are all there, Gerd Muller, Zinedine Zidane, Ruud Gullit, Lothar Matthaus, Roberto Baggio, George Best, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Franz Beckenbauer, Marco van Basten, Johan Cruyff as former winners, and the list goes on.

The only Englishman to have ever won the award twice is Kevin Keegan who won it in back to back years in 1978 and 1979. Legends Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten each won the award three times during their glittering careers. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the only two players to have gone beyond that by winning the individual award more than three times.

In the years 2010-2015 when the award was the FIFA Ballon d’Or it was Messi who was fully on top there, winning four of the editions, with Ronaldo claiming the other two. The only time in that spell of awards that Ronaldo didn’t get into the top three was in the 2010 award season when it was a Barcelona hattrick of Messi winning, Andres Iniesta in second and Xavi in third.

Who can beat Van Dijk?

With Liverpool starting the new 2019/20 league season so well, it feels as if it is a “who can beat VVD” to the 2019 Ballon d’Or? Lionel Messi perhaps? The Barcelona star is level with old rival Cristiano Ronaldo with five wins at the Ballon d’Or so picking up the honour this year would set him apart. Messi, to be fair, was back to his brilliant best in 2019, helping Barcelona to another league title.

Messi scored 21 league goals in 19 league games for Barcelona from the beginning of January 2019 through to the end of the season. He also scored six goals in six Champions League appearances. There was just sheer brilliance from him again. However, will Van Dijk’s Champions League title supersede Messi’s La Liga title?

Another contender in the running would be Cristiano Ronaldo. He couldn’t add to his Champions League title haul but won the Serie A title with Juventus. He did help guide Portugal to success in the Nations League too. So that may give him more appeal to punters than Messi. Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Alisson Becker and Mo Salah would be outside shots and that is about it.

If the 2019 Ballon d’Or boiled down to anyone but Van Dijk, Messi or Ronaldo it would be a shock.