World football's XI of the year based on Ballon d'Or voting

Liverpool FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

The dust has settled on the 2019 Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi collected the prestigious prize for the sixth time, edging out Virgil van Dijk by just seven votes and getting the better of his rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since 2015.

Megan Rapinoe took home the Women's Ballon d'Or, Matthijs de Ligt bagged the Kopa Trophy and Liverpool's Alisson Becker collected the inaugural Yashin Trophy.

However, while the Ballon d'Or might remain the most revered ceremony in football, it simply doesn't have the range of accolades that FIFA's 'The Best' awards boast.

And one of the biggest things missing from its repertoire is a world XI.

The Ballon d'Or XI

Whereas FIFA select their FIFPro World XI year on year, football fans have to fill in the gaps when it comes to the Ballon d'Or by running their finger down the rankings.

Well, fear not. We've rattled our way through the Ballon d'Or votes to show what France Football and the world's journalists consider to be the strongest line-up of 2019.

Of course, this is subject to change dependant on how strict you are with the positions and which formation you choose, but you can check out the XI we settled on down below:

GK - Alisson Becker (Liverpool)

Only three goalkeepers were nominated for the Ballon d'Or and Alisson blew away his nearest rival Hugo Lloris (we have as much of an idea as you do) by no less than 16 places.

The Brazilian kept more clean sheets any other goalkeeper in the Premier League and Copa America, winning the latter in the process, and thoroughly deserves his place in the team.

Brazil v Peru: Final - Copa America Brazil 2019

RB - Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

The best right-back in the world was crowned, well, the best right-back in the world. Alexander-Arnold was the only full-back even up for consideration and gets the nod at just 21 years old.

Liverpool FC v RB Salzburg: Group E - UEFA Champions League

CB - Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Arguably the man who should have won the main prize, Van Dijk was over 10 places ahead of the next highest ranking defender.

The Liverpool man was integral in Champions League and UEFA Super Cup triumphs, while also going the entire 2018/19 season without being dribbled past in club football.

Liverpool FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

CB - Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)

Not only did De Ligt bag himself just the second Kopa Trophy in history, but he also earns himself a place in the team by way of being Van Dijk's closest defensive contender.

The young Dutchman's role in leading Ajax to a Champions League final and making a solid start to life at Juventus earned him a solid 15th place in the rankings.

Brescia Calcio v Juventus - Serie A

LB -  Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)

Yes, yes, yes, we know that Koulibaly isn't a left-back, but we had to settle for the centre-back with the third highest points total after France Football didn't pick a single left-sided defender.

That being said, Koulibaly has played in a variety of positions across back fours and we're pretty sure he could do a decent job when De Ligt and Van Dijk are covering him from behind.

Chievo Verona v SSC Napoli - Serie A

CDM - Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

A sound start at Barcelona, shining as Ajax's star player in their Champions League streak and finishing 11th place in the Ballon d'Or makes De Jong the first inclusion in this world-class midfield.


CM - Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Wingers such as Eden Hazard and Raheem Sterling finds themselves placed higher, but De Bruyne squeezes into the top three central midfielders after he finished 14th in the rankings.

De Bruyne helped win a domestic treble last season and seems to be on course for Thierry Henry's Premier League assist record as well as the PFA Player of the Year award.

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League

CM - Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Silva might not thank us for picking him in such a central position, but his ninth-place finish makes him the highest ranked player who features vaguely near the heart of midfield.

A remarkable 2019 trophy cabinet featuring the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Nations League is why you can find him rubbing shoulders with legends.

Liverpool v Man City - FA Community Shield

RW - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

The victor himself. Messi collected a sixth Ballon d'Or crown by the skin of his teeth and is consequently an automatic inclusion in the team.

The Barcelona star might only have won the La Liga title, but he out-scored everybody in Europe's top five leagues last season and led the Champions League scoring charts for good measure.


ST - Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

We have our reservations about just how good Ronaldo's 2019 has really been, but the voters considered him worthy of third place and he therefore slides into the number nine position.

CR7 collected the Serie A crown and Supercoppa Italiana during his first season with Juventus, while also winning the UEFA Nations League and scoring 14 goals for Portugal.


LW - Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Mane arguably deserved more than fourth place, but one step short of the podium was still enough to secure his place in the team ahead of Mohamed Salah and Kylian Mbappe.

The 27-year-old has been the best performer in Liverpool's front three this year, which is no small statement, and also inspired Senegal to the Africa Cup of Nations final this summer.


GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

So, is this the strongest XI in the world right now? It's a no from me.

To get the obvious point out of the way first, Koulibaly would be swapped out for Andrew Robertson, who I believe to be the world's bets left-back above Jordi Alba on current form.

And on the basis of 2019 alone, I struggle for reasons to give Ronaldo the nod.


Aside from some impressive displays for Portugal, although many came against weak opposition, it makes far more sense to replace him with the prolific Robert Lewandowski down the middle.

The Pole has outscored everybody in Europe's top five leagues this year and deserved far more than the eighth-place finish afforded to him by journalists.

So, should Ronaldo move out to the left? Nope, I'd keep Mane in that position and if Ronaldo has a problem with that, he can try speaking to a silver-eared trophy called the Champions League.

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