90min Editors Pick Their Alternative Ballon d’Or Rankings

France Football, we at 90min have a bone to pick with you lot. We feel that the Ballon d’Or rankings, overall, were a complete and utter shambles. 

Robert Lewandowski, eighth? REALLY?!

Raheem Sterling, 12th? ARE YOU FOR REAL?!

HUGO LLORIS, 23RD?! HOW AND WHY IS HE EVEN ON THIS LIST?!!

So, with fire in our bellies and expletives on the very tip of tongues, we at 90min have decided to do our own, alternative, Ballon d’Or rankings. 


Virgil van Dijk

​1. Virgil van Dijk

2. Lionel Messi

3. Robert Lewandowski

4. Sadio Mane

5. Kylian Mbappe

Virgil van Dijk pips Lionel Messi to the post for me because his brilliance led to Liverpool winning the UEFA Champions League. ​Lionel Messi’s only led to Barcelona winning La Liga – which isn’t as good. 

Elsewhere in my top five, Robert Lewandowski earns the number three spot for scoring more goals than anyone ever thought was humanly possible, and Sadio Mane and Kylian Mbappe round out the top five for being lightening quick and good at kicking the ball into a net. 


Lionel Messi

1. Lionel Messi 

2. Virgil van Dijk

3. Robert Lewandowski

4. Sadio Mane

5. Raheem Sterling

Could Virgil van Dijk score 50 goals in a calendar year nine times, like Lionel Messi will by the time 2019 is over? Didn’t think so.


FBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-MAN CITY

1. Lionel Messi

2. Virgil van Dijk

3. Sadio Mane

4. Robert Lewandowski

5. Raheem Sterling

​Raheem Sterling went up a level this season as a crucial part of a huge team…but Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi. Robert Lewandowski is having possibly his best ever year and has been the best player in the world since August…but Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi. Sadio Mane made the Champions League winners tick, but Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi. Virgil van Dijk had a historically colossal season in Liverpool’s defence………..but Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi.


Robert Lewandowski

1. Lionel Messi

2. Virgil van Dijk

3. Robert Lewandowski 

4. Raheem Sterling 

5. Sadio Mane

It’s kinda hard to argue with the top two. One was clearly the best footballer over the last year and the other was pivotal in a Champions League win for his club. As for the best of the rest, Lewandowski’s incredible form at the start of 2019/20 season sees him pinch third, while Sterling’s increased contribution at international level alongside his incredible club displays merits a higher ranking than 12th. ​Mane is brilliant and probably the forward Liverpool look to when they’re in trouble, and deserves a spot in the top five.


Sadio Mane

1. Lionel Messi 

2. Virgil van Dijk

3. Sadio Mane

4. Robert Lewandowski 

5. Raheem Sterling

I could wax lyrical all day about why Lionel Messi deserves to win, but the matter of the fact is he’s the best player in the world. For all of my rhetoric about how defenders or goalkeepers should never win a Ballon d’Or, Virgil van Dijk had an insane year that is probably the greatest peak of most if not all defenders this century, but Messi pips him to the award. 

The levels that my third-placed Sadio Mane manages to step up every year have become so normalised that it’s disrespectful. A two-footed threat who’s an underrated aerial threat, can play on the counter and in heavy possession. 

Christ, my number four Robert Lewandowski bloody loves goals. A victim of playing for a dominant force in one league for over half the decade, Lewandowski is now finally starting to get the recognition he deserves at the age of 31. 

And finally, arguably the best player on a treble-winning side, Raheem Sterling’s become the face of Manchester City, above and beyond Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero. Alongside Harry Kane, he’s also England’s biggest star, and his 2019 merits a place in the top five.


Alisson Becker

1. Lionel Messi

2. Virgil van Dijk

3. Sadio Mane

4. Raheem Sterling

5. Alisson Becker

Virgil van Dijk had a career-defining season that marked him out as not only worth every penny of the £75m Liverpool spent on him, but a generational behemoth of a centre back. 

Unfortunately, Lionel Messi is Lionel Messi.

Sadio Mane has been Liverpool’s match-winner for much of the calendar year, while taking Senegal to the AFCON final.


TOPSHOT-FBL-ENG-PR-COMMUNITY-MAN CITY-LIVERPOOL

1. Lionel Messi

2. Virgil van Dijk

3. Sadio Mane

4. Raheem Sterling

5. Alisson Becker

Lionel Messi deservedly tops the Ballon d’Or standings because he was the greatest in 2019. Simple really. Virgil van Dijk is a clear and obvious second ahead of Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane, while Raheem Sterling and Alisson close out the top five after enjoying sumptuous calendar year’s for both club and country.


Sadio Mane,Virgil Van Dijk

1. Virgil van Dijk

2. Sadio Mané

3. Robert Lewandowski

4. Lionel Messi

5. Raheem Sterling

Yeah he’s a defender, but VVD has been imperious at the back for Liverpool in 2019. A European crown is already in the bag, and a Premier League title will soon follow, just as it will for Sadio Mané. While VVD has been the rock at the back, it has been Mané’s year to shine at the front for the Reds.

Elsewhere, Robert Lewandowski has scored 45 goals and counting this calendar year, demonstrating he is pretty much the perfect striker on the way to another Bundesliga title, so for me the Pole deserves a spot. 

Meanwhile, Messi has still been doing Messi things but perhaps to a lesser extent, and he really deserves punishment for Barça’s capitulation at Anfield earlier this year, despite a La Liga win. Raheem Sterling takes my final berth for the example he has set on and off the field in 2019. He’s just a great guy.


90min’s Ballon d’Or Rankings

Using the following scoring system: 

1st = 5 points.

2nd = 4 points.

3rd = 3 points. 

2nd = 2 points.

5th = 1 point. 

Here they, are the definitive, the correct, the undisputed 2019 Ballon d’Or rankings, as voted for by the 90min editorial team: 


1. Lionel Messi (36 points)

2. Virgil van Dijk (34 points)

3. Sadio Mane (22 points) 

4. Robert Lewandowski (16 points) 

5. Raheem Sterling (10 points) 


Let’