- Kylian Mbappe is backing Lionel Messi to win a record sixth Ballon d’Or award next month when the winner is announced on December 2.
- Messi has scored 45 goals this calendar year for club and country, guiding FC Barcelona to the La Liga title and Argentina to the Copa America semis.
- Mbappe told Der Spiegel that Messi “was the best this year.”
- Mbappe is also part of the final 30-man shortlist for the prize, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, and Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk.
- Read more of our soccer coverage here.
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Kylian Mbappe is backing Lionel Messi to win the 2019 Ballon d’Or award.
Messi has won the prize a joint record five times alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, meaning should he win in Paris next month, he will become the award’s most frequent ever recipient with six titles.
The Argentine faces stiff competition from Ronaldo, Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk, and Mbappe himself, but the Paris Saint Germain forward believes there can only be one winner.
And told Der Spiegel that it should be Messi. “In individual terms, he was the best this year.”
Messi has scored 45 goals this calendar year for club and country, guiding FC Barcelona to the La Liga title and Argentina to the Copa America semifinals.
Nine of those goals have come in his last eight games for Barca, helping it sit at the top of the Spanish league again.
In contrast, long term rival Cristiano Ronaldo has managed 33 goals, however almost a quarter of those (7) came in the space of two games against international minnows Lithuania.
Messi is one of four FC Barcelona players up for the award, with Frenkie de Jong, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Antoine Griezmann also part of the final 30-man shortlist.
Liverpool is the team with the most players nominated however with seven, those being Mane, Van Dijk, Alisson, Mohamed Salah, Georginio Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino, and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Manchester City has five nominees (Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, and Raheem Sterling), while Real Madrid has two (Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema.)
Mbappe is just one of two PSG players given the nod, the other being Brazilian defender Marquinhos.
You can see the full list of nominees here:
The 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d'Or ????
Pick your winner ???? pic.twitter.com/x2uj6zBoEt
— Goal (@goal) October 22, 2019
The most notable omissions for the final shortlist are Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, and World Cup winner Paul Pogba.
The winner of the award, voted for by journalists and national team captains, will be announced on December 2.
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