A pair of reporters from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo have today claimed that Lionel Messi’s latest Ballon d’Or triumph has already been confirmed.
Ballon d’Or 2019
The latest edition of world football’s most-prized individual accolade is set to be handed out next week.
The Ballon d’Or ceremony, which sees the finest footballers from around the globe gather with respective hopes of being named the world’s best for the calendar year, will take place on December 2nd at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
The current holder of the prize is Real Madrid midfielder Luke Modric.
Modric, though, will not be defending his crown this time around.
The announcement of the latest batch of 30 Ballon d’Or nominees last month saw the Croatian midfielder omitted.
There were places, though, for Real Madrid teammates Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard.
European champions Liverpool, meanwhile, dominated the list of candidates, with a hefty 7 inclusions.
It has long been widely-agreed, though, that this year’s prize is set to be handed to one of three players.
Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo are the front-runners for the 2019 award.
Messi and van Dijk, meanwhile, are viewed as more likely to emerge victorious than Juventus man Ronaldo.
And, if the latest reports stemming from Spain this afternoon are to be believed, then the winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or has been leaked, almost a week before the ceremony is set to take place.
This year’s victor? Lionel Messi.
A pair of reporters for the generally-reliable Mundo Deportivo have claimed that Barcelona talisman Messi’s crown, which will come as his record-breaking 6th, has already been confirmed.
Francesc Aguilar reports that Pascal Ferré and Thierry Marchand, editor-in-chief and editor of France Football (who hand out the award), visited Barcelona yesterday, to inform Messi of his achievement:
CONFIRMADO: Lionel Messi alzará el lunes próximo su sexto Balón de oro. Ayer lunes, se lo oficializaron Pascal Ferré y Thierry Marchand, enviados especiales y pesos fuertes de France Football que se desplazaron a Barcelona a pesar de los desmentidos de unos y otros.
— Francesc Aguilar (@FApor_elmundo) November 26, 2019
Fellow MD contributor Pep Morata, rumoured to be a close friend of Messi’s, meanwhile, has taken to Instagram to post a photo of the Argentine after his first Ballon d’Or win, along with the caption:
‘Leo poses for Mundo Deportivo with the first of his 6 Golden Balls. Yes, 6.’