Messi and Rapinoe are expected to take the Golden Ball honors

Paris, December 1 (AFP) The most important names in world football will descend to Paris on Monday for the 2019 Golden Ball ceremony, with Lionel Messi and the US Women's World Cup superstar. UU. Megan Rapinoe with the tip to leave with the honors.

It would be a huge shock if Rapinoe did not leave the Chatelet Theater with the women's prize when he returns to the country where he was the driving force on and off the field for the United States, as they retained their title.

The suspense surrounds the identity of the male winner, 12 months after Luka Modric of Croatia claimed the crown thanks to his feats by dragging his country to the World Cup final and winning the Champions League with Real Madrid.

That ended a decade in which Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had won the Golden Ball five times each, but smart money is now in the man in Barcelona who claims number six.

There are 30 nominees in total for the award, organized by France Football magazine and voted by 180 journalists from around the world.

- The case of Van Dijk -

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Among the names is Ronaldo, as well as several of the Liverpool team stars that won the Champions League, the main one among them the Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk. At one point he seemed the favorite, but Messi already took him to the title The Best of FIFA in September.

The 32-year-old best scored in La Liga last season with 36 goals when Barcelona won the title. He did not have a great Copa América with Argentina, but his genius is undeniable.

If you give the Golden Ball to the best player of this generation, you should always give it to Lionel Messi. That's right, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp admitted.

But if you give it to the best player of last season, then it was Virgil van Dijk. I don't know exactly how it will work, but that's how I see it.

The value of individual honors in football is debatable, and the timing is not satisfactory, reaching the middle of the European club season.

However, surely no one could suggest that Rapinoe would not be a deserving winner of the second women's Golden Ball, an award voted by a panel of 48 journalists.

Norway's Ada Hegerberg won it in 2018 but will not retain her title after missing the World Cup.

Among the stars of that tournament to be nominated are Lucy Bronze of England, Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema, Sam Kerr of Australia and Alex Morgan's American trio, Rose Lavelle and Tobin Heath.

However, Rapinoe, the 34-year-old feminist icon and open critic of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, should add this honor to those of the winner of the Golden Boot to the top scorer and the Golden Ball to the best player in the World Cup.

Even her supposed rivals seem to be supporting her. She does many things off the field, but I think she is the favorite to win the Golden Ball mainly for her performances during the World Cup, Bronze told France Football. (AFP) ATK ATK

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