After a hiatus in 2020, one of football’s most prestigious awards will be dished out this evening as the 2021 Ballon d’Or winners are revealed.
Both the men’s and women’s winners will be announced at tonight’s ceremony in Paris, while the Kopa and Yashin trophies, for best U21 players and goalkeeper respectively, are among the other prizes to be awarded.
Lionel Messi is favourite to claim a record seventh Ballon d’Or after inspiring Argentina to Copa America glory, but faces competition from Robert Lewandowski, who has enjoyed another goal-laden year with Bayern Munich, and Liverpool star Mo Salah, who is perhaps the most in-form player on the planet right now.
A 30-strong shortlist for the men’s award has already been unveiled, with Chelsea and Italy players featuring prominently after their respective European triumphs, while a quarter of the 20-player women’s shortlist is also made up of Blues stars.
You can follow the ceremony as it happens with Standard Sport’s blog below…
The Ballon d’Or organisers have teased two new awards to be handed out later, watch this space…
29th place: Cesar Azpilicueta & Luka Modric
The Chelsea defender is first out of the hat, sharing the 29th-place with Luka Modric of Real Madrid.
Any moment now until the first names should pop out the hat…
Cristiano Ronaldo will NOT be at tonight’s ceremony in Paris.
According to Portuguese outlet SIC, the Manchester United forward is not set to walk down the red carpet – with few expecting him to win the award.
An award for Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema already today – can she add another later on?
Kopa Trophy for U21 players shortlist
- Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
- Pedri (Barcelona)
- Mason Greenwood (Man United)
- Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
- Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
- Jeremy Doku (Rennes)
- Julian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
- Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax)
- Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
- Nuno Mendes (PSG)
Women’s Ballon d’Or shortlist in full
- Kadidiatou Diani (PSG)
- Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
- Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona)
- Christiane Endler (Lyon)
- Christine Sinclair (Thorns FC)
- Ashley Lawrence (PSG)
- Irene Paredes (PSG, Barcelona)
- Jessie Fleming (Chelsea)
- Lieke Martens (Barcelona)
- Sandra Panos (Barcelona)
- Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)
- Ellen White (Manchester City)
- Pernille Harder (Chelsea)
- Sam Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
- Wendie Renard (Lyon)
- Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG)
- Stina Blackstenius (Hacken)
- Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea)
- Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
- Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
What time is the ceremony?
The main ceremony this evening takes place at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris and is expected to start at 7:30pm GMT.
However, the countdown will begin much earlier than that, with the rankings of the top 30 men’s players set to begin in under an hour’s time.
Men’s Ballon d’Or shortlist in full
- Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
- Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
- Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
- Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
- Phil Foden (Manchester City)
- Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
- Jorginho (Chelsea)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham)
- N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
- Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
- Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
- Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
- Mason Mount (Chelsea)
- Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Pedri (Barcelona)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
- Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)