Barcelona star Lionel Messi is expected to beat Liverpool duo Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk to the Ballon d’or crown on Monday.
The Argentine forward has claimed five awards already throughout his esteemed career, the last coming in 2015, and is again favourite to claim his sixth.
Messi has enjoyed another terrific year in 2019, netting 30 goals in only 28 La Liga appearances, as well as a further 13 in other competitions such as the UEFA Champions League. He also predictably played a key role as Barcelona lifted the La Liga crown.
The award ceremony for the Ballon d’Or takes place on Monday evening in Paris, with Messi amongst the most fancied to claim the award, but he does face competition from some of Europe’s key performers from the past year.
van Dijk could potentially become the first defender to claim the gong since Fabio Cannavaro. The Dutchman had quite an influence at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp as the Reds lifted the UEFA Champions League title and took Manchester City all the way in the race for the Premier League crown.
Messi is available at a price of 1/12 to claim the award, with van Dijk some way behind at odds of 6/1 with William Hill.