Egypt’s Mohamed Salah among 30 players competing for 2019 Ballon d’Or

Alaa Moustafa
6 Min Read

France Football magazine has started receiving the ballots of world journalists over the winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or after the magazine named the 30 contenders for the prestigious individual prize on 21 October, while Egyptian star Moahmed Salah and regular award rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made the list:

A jury of 195 journalists representing a variety of footballing nations is given the task of voting for the players they deem worthy of first, second and third place. Voting started on the following day of announcement and will end on 8 November.

The voting journalists will also vote for the Women’s award and the inaugural Yashin Trophy given to the best goalkeeper. Meanwhile, past winners of the Ballon d’Or will cast votes for the Kopa Trophy, given to the top under-21 player on the planet.

Each voting journalist picks top five players from within the 30-man shortlist and then proceed to rank them based on descending order of merit.

The top-ranking player from each journalist’s selection will receive six points, with the second-ranking player earning four points, then three, two and one going down from the rest of their top five picks.

The player with most points will win the award in a ceremony organised by the magazine on 2 December in Paris.

In the event of a tie for first place, however, the players are determined by the number of times they are voted in first place. If the tie still stands, then the tie-breaker will consider the number of votes for second place, and then by the number of votes for third place.

If the tie continues, then a new ballot is organised to select a winner between the tied players.

If, after all of this, a winner is still unable to be named, then the France Football editorial director – as chairperson of the jury – will be called upon to make an ultimate decision.

Selection criteria

There are three rules and regulations that the jury will need to follow to choose and rank their top five selections; the individual and collective performances (winners) during the year, the player class (talent and fair play), and the overall judgment of the player’s career.

Candidates for the 2019 award

The magazine has divided the 30-man shortlist into six groups, each of five players, according to the order of nomination:

Group A

Dušan Tadić (Ajax), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), and Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur).

Group B

Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), and Donny van de Beek (Ajax).

Group C

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Alison Becker (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), and Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).

Group D

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), and Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Group E

Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Riad Mehrez and Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), and Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli).

Group F

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), and Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid).

History of the prize

It is an annual football award presented by France Football since 1956. However, between 2010 and 2015, the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, and known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or. The partnership ended in 2016 and the award reverted to the Ballon d’Or.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won the award a record five times each. The prize was awarded to several outperforming players, starting with the English Stanley Matthews in 1956 through Croatian Luka Modrić in 2018.

Due to the participation of a large number of journalists in the selection of the best awards, the magazine is keen to choose who did not participate in choosing FIFA World Player winner, so as to diversify the choices and prevent recurrence. This year’s nominations include nine players who have been also nominated in the FIFA World Player award, which was claimed by Van Dijk, while the Egyptian star Mohamed Salah ranked fifth.

Last year’s winner

The French national team’s results in the 2018 World Cup qualified some Frenchmen to be nominated for the 2018 Ballon d’Or which was eventually awarded to Croatian Luka Modrić (Real Madrid) who led his national team to win the World Cup. Ronaldo ranked second and Antoine Griezmann came third, followed by Kylian Mbappé, Messi, and Salah.

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