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Leaked Ballon d'Or list shows Messi win SIXTH award ahead of van Dijk & Ronaldo excluded from TOP 3

Leaked Ballon d'Or list shows Messi win SIXTH award ahead of van Dijk & Ronaldo excluded from TOP 3
A leaked list of the 2019 Ballon d’Or winners shows Barcelona great Lionel Messi winning his sixth gong ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk - with rival Cristiano Ronaldo not even making the final top three.

Circulated widely on social media ahead of the actual 64th annual ceremony in Paris on Monday, the list features Messi in first place with 446 points, ahead of current UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk, who was pivotal in the center of defense for Champions League winners Liverpool last season. 

The main twist came in who came third in the final vote, with Liverpool striker and Egyptian icon Mohamed Salah making up the top trio ahead of Juventus winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

If the list proves true, it would be the first time since 2010 and the second time in 12 years the five-time winner has been ranked outside the Ballon d’Or top three.

Also on rt.com Messi to receive SIXTH Ballon d'Or ahead of Ronaldo & van Dijk after being told of decision a week before ceremony - reports

Van Dijk and Salah are two of four Liverpool players in the top six places, alongside goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane from the Anfield club, who went eleven points clear at the top of the Premier League this weekend with a 2-1 victory over Brighton.

READ MORE: Take it as Red! Liverpool's van Dijk beats Ronaldo & Messi to UEFA Men's Player of the Year award

Last year it was Messi excluded from the top three; Luka Modric took top spot with Ronaldo in second and World Cup winner Antoinne Griezmann in third in a result that appalled some hardcore Messi followers.

However, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported last week that Messi would pip Ronaldo and van Dijk to the honor amid reports the Argentine had even been informed of the results of the three-man shortlist ahead of time, which would take him ahead of Ronaldo on six titles.

Messi also got one over his perennial rival Ronaldo when breaking a record in the latest round of Champions League games. His goal against Borussia Dortmund made him the first player to score against 34 different teams in European competition, coming in his 700th game for Barcelona, moving ahead of Ronaldo, who had earlier spurned the chance to do the same against Lokomotiv Moscow.

Making up the rest of the list was Sadio Mane and Alisson Becker, the last of the Liverpool nominees; Kylian Mbappe, Messi's Barca teammate Frenkie De Jong, Ronaldo’s Juventus teammate Matthjis De Ligt, and Eden Hazard.

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