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Ballon d'Or Betting: Messi favourite for record sixth award with Van Dijk also in running

13:45 BST 20/05/2019
Lionel Messi Barcelona 2018-19
The Barcelona forward has had another stunning year in front of goal and it is little surprise that he is such a short price to claim the crown again

With no major international tournament this summer, the Ballon d’Or already looks set to be decided between just two players.

Lionel Messi is the early favourite to win the award for the sixth time, priced at 1/2 (1.50) with William Hill, which comes as little surprise considering his form in both La Liga and the Champions League.

The Argentine has netted six goals in as many European games in 2019, with a brace against Liverpool in the semi-final including a sumptuous 30-yard free-kick which gave Alisson no chance.

His league form is just as devastating, too. Messi has scored 19 goals in La Liga since the turn of the year, failing to find the back of the net in just five matches in the competition in 2019.

That record has led Barcelona to another Spanish title, their eighth in 11 years, and they are overwhelming 1/5 (1.20) favourites to lift the Copa del Rey on May 25 when they meet Valencia at Estadio Benito Villamarin.

However, Messi still faces still competition from Virgil van Dijk, who is 15/8 (2.87) to become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro to win the coveted award.

The Dutch centre-back has been a rock at the back as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League with a stunning 97 points, keeping 21 clean sheets and conceding just 22 times.

Van Dijk played almost every second of Premier League action this term, missing only 35 minutes in the Reds’ 3-0 win over Southampton in September, and played in all but one Champions League matches.

He also poses a huge threat going forward, having netted four times and added four assists in domestic football and adding two strikes in Europe, netting once against both Bayern Munich and Porto, en route to the final on June 1.

Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, who finished sixth in last year's award, is priced at 16/1 (17.0) after claiming the Premier League Golden Boot once again, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Raheem Sterling are all 20/1 (21.0).

Check out all the latest Ballon d'Or prices at William Hill