Ballon d’Or ceremony LIVE: Lionel Messi set to take home his eighth award ahead of 52-goal man Erling Haaland with Jude Bellingham favourite for Kopa award
Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest news and updates from the Ballon d’Or ceremony as Lionel Messi is expected to take home his eighth award with Jude Bellingham favourite for the Kopa award and Aitana Bonmati in pole position for the women’s crown.
Ballon d'Or royalty!
Amanda Ilestedet of Arsenal is now posing for the – let’s say passionate – photographers.
‘It feels good to be back. New club and new opportunity. I feel really good at the moment and I’m enjoying football.
Hristo Stoichkov, 1994 Ballon d’Or winner, is the latest person to arrive.
More players start to arrive
Khvicha Kvaratskheila is the next player to arrive and is hounded by the press.
‘I could not imagine coming here. I am so happy.’
Alba Redondo is the first women’s player to arrive.
Martinez speaks on his achievements
Mohamed Salah finishes 11th
Two more names announced on the shortlist for the men’s award. Robert Lewandowski comes 12th and Mohamed Salah comes 11th.
Martinez has just said winning the World Cup didn’t change his life. Fair enough.
The first player arrives
Now some guy is spinning an ball on his finger and doing kick ups. Your guess is as good as mine.
Finally, the first player has arrived! Emiliano Martinez is greeted by loud cheers with his partner. He finished 15th in the men’s award earlier.
The red carpet is open for business
We’re currently hearing from Matthieu Jailbert, French rugby player. The way every Ballon d’Or ceremony should start.
Djibril Cisse is also there with blue hair. Oh, I can see iShowSpeed.
The television coverage is live
Right well the television coverage of the Ballon d’Or coverage is about to get underway in Paris.
We’re currently seeing images of a red carpet. I assume players will start to arrive soon.
Ilkay Gundogan comes 14th
Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez continues his fantastic couple of years by finishing 15th in the Ballon d’Or shortlist.
They’ve then for some reason announced 13th and 14th the wrong way round. Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester City captain for their Treble success, comes 14th, with goalkeeper Bono 13th.
Last year's winner finishes 16th
After Khvicha Kvaratskheila is announced in 17th, last year’s winner, Karim Benzema, comes in in 16th.
It was a much quieter year for the forward, with and early Champions League exit, no league title and a move to Saudi Arabia signalling a big decline tio last ter.
Drogba to present the awards
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba will be on hand to hand out a trophy or two tonight.
Jude Bellingham finishes 18th
One place above Kane is his England team-mate Jude Bellingham. This man will certainly have higher finishes to come.
He came so close to winning the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund before earning his mega-money move to Real Madrid.
And right now, he’s probably the best midfielder in the world.
It’s not the last time his name will be mentioned tonight.
Harry Kane comes in at 19th
After Lautaro Martinez is announced in 20th, England captain Harry Kane finishes 19th in this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Quite low for one of the best players around, but a move to Bayern Munich will probably help him for next year’s vote.
A if he can lift the Champions League and a Euros… maybe he’ll win it next time.
Lionel Messi is expected to lift his eighth Ballon d’Or tonight ahead of Erling Haaland.
Jude Bellingham is favourite to win the Kopa Award, with the likes of Rasmus Hojlund and Gavi also nominated.
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati is expected to win the women’s award, with several other trophies also to be handed out.
Lionesses won't attend
Four England players are up for the women’s award tonight but won’t be able to attend due to international fixtures.
The Lionesses play Belgium tomorrow night and are in the country for the game, and it’s the same for a number of the players involved.
Georgia Stanway, one of the four England players shortlisted alongside Millie Bright, Mary Earps and Rachel Daly, says it’s disappointing the players won’t be able to go. Understandbale.
Read more below.
25th to 21st
25. Josko Gvardiol
24. Bukayo Saka
23. Andre Onana
22. Kim Min-Jae
21. Antoine Griezmann
Some more Premier League interest there. Well done to Gvardiol, Saka and Onana.
A bit of a shock to see Griezmann that low down too.
30th to 26th in the men's award
So counting down from 30 in the men’s award first up, and there are a few Premier League stars who have already been announced.
30. Ruben Dias
28. Martin Odegaard
28. Randal Kolo Muani
27. Nicolo Barella
26. Jamal Musiala
Here’s a quick remidner of the nominees for this evening’s awards…
Good evening one and all and welcome to Mail Sport’s live blog for the 2023 Ballong d’Or award ceremony.
We’re already underway in terms of revealing the order so I suppose we should get straight into it!
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