Twitter goes wild over Ballon d'Or winner 'reveal'

It is being claimed that Fifa have inadvertently let slip that Lionel Messi has won the prize, though football's governing body insist it is just a rehash of an old hoax


Social media has been abuzz with the claim that Fifa have accidentally revealed the Ballon d'Or winner five days before the announcement, with Lionel Messi's name attached to a rather official looking document.

The news originated from a tweet from Dutch journalist Michael Abbink, who writes for NU Sport, who appeared to have discovered a press release proclaiming Messi as the winner (and Germany's Celia Sasic as the Women's World Player of the Year).
Fortunately for fans of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, however, the leak appears to have been a false alarm, with the document in question circulating as far back as November 2015.

The "announcement" was first picked up by Voetbal Primeur, who claimed it was a leaked document from European Sports Media (ESM) who regularly organise award ceremonies.

But ESM later removed the image from their website, and released a statement explaining: "Due to a technical problem at transmission, Lionel Messi and Celia Sasic were listed as FIFA Ballon d'Or winners 2015.
"Actually, they won the awards UEFA Best Player in Europe 2015 resp. UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe 2015. We apologize for this mistake."

Fifa have since confirmed that no leak has occurred, describing the latest claims as rehashes of the article from November, meaning you will have to wait until January 11 to find out who the winner is.

So it was all just one big mix up, though that hasn't stopped fans from having their say...