The last time that a player won the Ballon d’Or without reaching the Champions League final with his club is 2013.
Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the prize ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery, despite the final being competed by Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
It seems that extra value is placed upon success in the European competition when voters make their choices.
It’s what has enabled Ronaldo, winner of the Champions League in 2016 and 2017, to tie Messi’s record of five Ballon d’Ors.
But 2019 could see a change to the norm.
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Messi has enjoyed a remarkable year, scoring 48 goals in all competitions and winning the La Liga title with Barcelona.
The Blaugrana’s European campaign came to an end when they were beaten by Liverpool in the semi-final, but there’s no doubting that Messi has been the best player in 2019.
Aguero: CL finalist should win Ballon d'Or
It’s hard to see any other player reaching his level for the rest of the year.
But Messi won’t have the support of his good friend Sergio Aguero at this year’s ceremony.
The Manchester City and Argentina forward believes the Ballon d’Or should go to a player who appears in the Champions League final.
So he’s backing either a Liverpool or Tottenham to end Real Madrid’s recent hold on the award.
"I think that to win the Ballon d'Or, you have to be in the Champions League [final] no matter what," Aguero said, per Marca.
So who does that leave as possible winners?
A number of players have impressed for Liverpool this season, including PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk and Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah.
Sadio Mane has also starred for the Reds in what has been a brilliant campaign for the Anfield club.
Christian Eriksen has been Tottenham’s standout player, although he will surely need to do something heroic in the final to put himself in contention to win the coveted individual accolade.News Now - Sport News