Even though there's several months and plenty of resulting competitions to come before the 2019 Ballon d'Or in December, PaddyPower have published a set of preliminary prices for each name in contention. The Ballon d'Or odds include a total of thirty-eight names, measuring up some expected favourites alongside several massively overpriced alternatives.
Last year's Ballon d'Or winners list featured a surprising winner of the award, with it being handed to Luka Modric after leading Croatia to the 2018 World Cup Final. The Real Madrid midfielder has been an admittedly world class player for several years, but against both Messi and Ronaldo, it was hard to see much of a comparison, leaving bookmakers to assume that either of the usual favourites will scoop the award again this year.
Business as usual for Lionel Messi, standing as Ballon d'Or favourite
We were always expecting the favourite to either be Barcelona's Lionel Messi or Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo, with both players doing more than enough to prove their worth over the past twelve months. Messi was the more likely winner in the eyes of PaddyPower, priced as short as 4/6 to claim yet another FIFA Ballon d'Or Award.
As Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is seen as the clear favourite in this year's Ballon d'Or odds, it's easy to assume who will follow, Cristiano Ronaldo ranked as second favourite, priced at 9/2. Although Lionel Messi always maintains an absolutely astonishing record for goals and assists every year, Cristiano Ronaldo could sway the title his way if he's able to win the Serie A and the Champions League with Juventus this season.
Every other name after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is provided with odds that make it tempting to back your own outsider to win the Ballon d'Or. Both Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann and Paris Saint Germain forward Kylian Mbappe are given a 16/1 price, leaving the only way of scooping the award being if either side are able to win the Champions League, which is now impossible with both Atleti and PSG being knocked out of the competition in the Round of 16.
Between the two 16/1 options and the more substantial 100/1 options, there are thirteen football players that are seen as being likely to shorten before the official ceremony in December. Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is priced at 22/1, followed by Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, which are both given a 25/1 price. England and Spurs striker Harry Kane is set at 33/1, followed by Raheem Sterling and Neymar at 40/1, Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba at 50/1, Robert Lewandowski, Leroy Sane and Paulo Dybala at 80/1, and both Manuel Neuer and Luis Suarez at 90/1.
In a predicted two-horse race, all other world class players are generously priced
Due to the expected emphasis on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo being the two primary candidates for the Ballon d'Or, every other player in contention has been given an impressively large set of odds. There's already enough reason to back some of the names below 100/1, but moving past that mark sees some astronomical prices for those who enjoy going against the trend.
Options at the 100/1 mark include Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, rising star Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, Spurs winger Heung-Min Son, and in-form AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek. Slightly larger prices are available for Wales winger Gareth Bale, Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, Borussia Dortmund prospect Jadon Sancho, Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman, and last year's winner Luka Modric, who are all priced at 150/1 to win the Ballon d'Or.
A more substantial 175/1 price is on PaddyPower for any of Paris Saint Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane or Barcelona attacker Philippe Coutinho to take home the award. PSG striker Edinson Cavani is the only player to be handed a 200/1 price. In terms of the bigger odds on offer, Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, Paris Saint Germain defender Marquinhos and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne are priced up at a whopping 275/1, which is incredible considering how Kevin De Bruyne was previously a top contender for this award, only likely to be underestimated due to being hampered by injuries this season.
Odds of 275/1 are handed to Toni Kroos, Marquinhos and Kevin De Bruyne to claim the 2019 Ballon d'Or.