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Four names stand out to win the prize this year. After the first semester, LatinAmerican Post presents the panorama of this award
Leer en español: Estos son los favoritos para ganar el Balón de Oro 2019
It's still missing the second semester of the year and it is not clear yet who could win the Ballon d'Or 2019. Lionel Messi is still the main candidate, after completing a full year in goals, 36 in the league and being champion with FC Barcelona. He did not win either the Copa del Rey nor the Champions League, but in the latter mentioned he was the top scorer for the sixth time in his career, with 12 goals.
At the end of the European seasons, the second and third ranks of candidates to win the prize, were the Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk and Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah, who were crowned in the UCL with Liverpool, and in the case of the first mentioned, has the advantage of having been chosen as the best player in the Premier League and MVP of the final against Tottenham.
The two favorites
90 minutes recalled that Messi, who is playing the Copa America with the Argentina team, could take a big leap towards his sixth prize if he manages to take the tournament with his national team. It would be almost impossible to take it away.
Van Dijk himself tried to remove pressure by declaring: "Ballon d'Or? Messi is the best player in the world and I think he deserves it while he is active, if he wins, obviously I will, but I do not think that is the case. It does not matter if he was not in the final of the Champions League", said the central defender after the 2-0 win over Tottenham in the final.
Van Dijk's candidacy would have been even stronger if he hadn't lost the Nations League final with the Netherlands, 1-0 against Portugal. Salah, his teammate in the 'Reds', scored 27 goals in 52 games, good numbers but today they do not seem enough. In 2017-18, his figures were better and even so, he couldn't reach it, reflected 90 minutes.
Marca recalled that Messi won the Ballon d'Or for the last time in 2015. Since then he has seen how the Madridistas CR7 and Luka Modric have won the prized individual award for the best player of the year, based on the three consecutive titles of the Champions League.
Cristiano and Mbappé what?
Cristiano and Mbappé cannot be left out. The Portuguese met in his first year in Serie A, scoring 27 goals in 40 games played, which resulted in an average of 0.68 per game, lower than he used to at Real Madrid.
Mbappé, world champion at age 19, reached the last date of Ligue 1 with the possibility of taking Messi's 'Golden Boot': he scored 37 goals in 37 games. A devastating average.
The Portuguese star said minutes after a new title with his team that: "I won three trophies, I was fine, what more can I do? If I deserve it, I do not know, I'll leave that for you". However, it is still far away for bookmakers.
The now 'Juve' striker, in fact, already advances in some bookmakers to Salah and Sadio Mané to be placed in the top three of the list, although for the bets of Marca, Cristiano, is still in the fifth position with a fee of 23 per euro wagered.
It should be noted that Salah (15.00) and Mané (19.00) will have a huge opportunity to raise their percentages to win the Golden Ball when they play the Africa Cup of Nations between June 21 and July 19, so any important achievement with their countries could catapult them directly. The winner of last year, Modric, is practically ruled out this year to repeat the prize, after a fairly discreet first semester, Marca closed.
The Spanish journalist Julio Maldonado, from Mundo Maldini, offered his impressions at this point about who are the favorites to win the Golden Ball 2019 to AS. "The fourth in the order to win would be Cristiano Ronaldo since Luka Modric broke with Christian dominion-Messi, and from that, it is more likely to see other players winning. Cristiano had a good season in Italy, but I do not think he will reach it (despite winning the Nations League). For me the favorite is Kylian Mbappé, he has scored more than 30 goals in Ligue 1, and that feeling of being the player of the future or next king of football puts him ahead of Neymar even".
Maldonado continued on the subject: "but, today, the favorites are Virgil Van Dijk for being champion of the Champions League and having the second place in the league with Liverpool, and Messi is the other one always if the Ballon d'Or was delivered to the best player of these times, because Messi is the best of all, is the one that makes more differences, but remember that the Ballon d'Or is for the best of the year", summarized the communicator in replicated content by AS.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "Así se perfila el Balón de Oro 2019 tras el triunfo de Cristiano en la Nations League"