Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe hope to get the Golden Ball

PARIS: the most important names in the world soccer will descend to Paris on Monday for 2019 Golden Ball ceremony with Lionel messi and superstar of the US Women's World Cup. UU. Megan Rapinoe Tip to leave with the honors.

It would be a huge shock if Rapinoe didn't leave Chatelet Theater with the prize of women when he returns to the country where he was the driving force on and off the field for the United States, since 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 the smart money now is on the Barcelona man claiming 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

Among the names is Ronaldo, as well as several of the stars of the Liverpool team that won the Champions League, the main 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 didn't 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 then you should give it always to Lionel messi . That's how it is," admitted Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

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 honours in soccer is debatable, and the timing unsatisfactory, coming midway through the European club season.

Yet surely nobody could suggest Rapinoe would not be a deserving winner of just the second women's Golden Ball , an award voted for 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 lots of things off the pitch, but I think she is the favourite to win the Golden Ball mainly down to her performances during the World Cup," Bronze told France Football.