Ballon D’Or 2019

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world. Every year, the best players of the game receive accolades for their spectacular performance on the pitch. One of the most competitive and anticipated awards is the Ballon d’Or. The 2019 ceremony took place in Paris, France. Megan Rapinoe and Lionel Messi walked away with the best prizes.

The ceremony was held at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, on the 2nd of December 2019. Hundreds to players, fans, coaches and journalists attended the event. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi made history by clinching the award for a record sixth time. He became the only football player to achieve that feat. Messi held off the challenge of Virgil Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine ace scored 54 goals for country and club in the 2018-19 campaign. That saw him lead the scoring charts in Champions League and La Liga. The player also guided Barcelona to the Spanish League glory. However, he finished third with his country in the Copa America.

On the other hand, Van Dijk finished second. The defender helped the Reds win the Champions League. Ronaldo settled for third after playing an important role to Juventus’ Serie A glory.

The attacking duo of the Reds Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah ranked fourth and fifth respectively. PSG’s Kylian Mbappe ranked sixth ahead of Alisson Becker. On the eighth position, you have Robert Lewandowski. Manchester City duo Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez settled for ninth and tenth positions respectively.

In the Women’s category, Rapinoe won the Ballon d’Or. She was also named player of the FIFA women’s World Cup this year. Being the joint-top scorer with six goals, she has an excellent season. Lucy Bronze was the runner-up after guiding Lyon to the women’s Champions League title. Alex Morgan came third in the ranking although she finished second in the FIFA Best Women’s award.

Top 10 Women’s ranking

  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Lucy Bronze
  • Alex Morgan
  • Ada Hegerberg
  • Vivianne Miedema
  • Wendie Renard
  • Sam Kerr
  • Rose Lavelle
  • Ellen White
  • Dzsenifer Marozsan

The ceremony has also seen other players won awards. Juventus Matthijs de Ligt took home the Kopa Trophy. It is all about the best young player in European football. The former Ajax defender defeated Jadon Sancho and Joao Felix. Last year, it was Mbappe who won it.

The inaugural Yachine Trophy went to Alisson Becker. It is normally awarded to the best goalkeeper in the world. He won it against the likes of Manuel Neuer, Hugo Lloris and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Football brings joy to thousands of fans across the globe. The Ballon d’Or is held to congratulate the best players for their performance. They work hard and feature in many tournaments each year to entertain everyone. Do you fancy some football actions? Football Champions Cup Slot at Lucky VIP Casino could be of your interest. Drop by the site and take a few spins!

The focus now shifts on the 2020 Ballon D’Or award. Do you think Messi and Rapinoe will be able to defend their accolades? Let’s see…

Famous red cards in club football

All football fans love a game with plenty of action – a 0-0 barely fought draw doesn’t seem like a decent reason to get out of bed on the weekend. When players head out onto the pitch with grit and determination, they gain respect. But what happens when all that effort fails and turns to frustrations? With temperaments running high, players start to lose their heads and make crucial mistakes.

The red card. Something that can change an entire game. Not only will it send a team down to 10 men, but it can also leave another player injured for several weeks. Let’s take a look at some of those famous red cards that have ended in tears.

Zlatan Ibrahimović – Paris Saint-Germain

The Swedish striker is quite the prolific personality in football. Regarded as one of the best goal scorers of his generation, with over 600 goals in his career to date. But there is one particular moment in his fine career that overshadows some of his success.

Whilst playing at PSG in Ligue 1 during the 2012-13 season, Ibrahimović found himself receiving a red card. After Saint-Etienne managed to take the lead after an own goal from Mamadou Sakho, Ibrahimović turned to desperation after repeatedly being denied a goal.

As the ball bounced behind the striker, he locked his eyes onto it to ensure he didn’t miss his next opportunity. Unfortunately for Ibrahimović, he didn’t realise the goalkeeper had come out of the net to collect the ball. As the striker flew through the air, boot aloft, his studs met the keeper’s chest. There was no denying his high boot, and his actions forced him from the pitch with a red card.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Possibly the most unforgettable red card in recent history, but took place on the side lines. In recent Premier League odds, Chelsea have been looking favourable to finish in the top four with plenty of success. In the 2012-13 season, they also had a promising start, but as things started to unravel after Christmas, players became desperate to make a difference.

In their League Cup semi-final match against Swansea City, Chelsea were frantically searching for a goal after losing the first leg 2-0. Time was running out, and Hazard felt the pressure to score. When the ball went out, he and a ball boy seemed to become tangled down one end of the pitch. Cameras showed Hazard kicking the ball boy, who seemed to be laying on the ball, the ref had no decision but to send Chelsea down to 10 men.

Roy Keane – Manchester United

The hot-headed Irishman was bound to make this list. During his time at Old Trafford, he accumulated 11 red cards, with a total of 13 in his career. Although there are plenty of occasions to choose from, his red card against Alf-Inge Håland is a standout. Not only did it remove him from the pitch, but it also inevitably ended the Norwegian’s career.

In a Manchester derby, Håland’s tackle prevented Keane scoring a goal. There seemed to be some tension between the two players at the time, but ultimately it was quashed. Although Keane wasn’t keen to forgive, and no doubt was seeking his revenge at the next opportunity. As Håland kicked the ball, Keane arrived with a very late high foot which landed straight onto Håland’s knee. Not only did Keane seem unfazed by the accident, but he also accepted his red card with grace and walked off the pitch.

Remember These Managers Who Coached Chelsea and Tottenham?


Jose Mourinho” (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

Jose Mourinho is not alone in managing both London clubs, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Special One’s return to the capital after almost a year out of coaching (and prior to that an unhappy spell at Manchester United) got us thinking about those who also coached both the Blues and Spurs. There are two others to take these two jobs on in the same order.

Andre Villas-Boas


DG1_1616” (CC BY 2.0) by Web Summit

There is a certain irony in Mourinho protege Andre Villas-Boas, henceforth referred to as AVB, being a predecessor of his mentor in North London.

In-between Mourinho’s two stints with Chelsea, his fellow country also took to the Stamford Bridge hot seat. Once he left the backroom role to strike out on his own in management, AVB came to the Blues with a great reputation after guiding Porto to a Europa League, Taca de Portugal, and Primeira League treble in 2011.

That meant he arrived at Chelsea lauded almost as a new Mourinho. However, AVB was scarcely older than some of the senior players in the Stamford Bridge dressing room and, before the following the season was over, was soon sacked.

The Blues went on to unlikely Champions League glory with AVB’s assistant, Roberto Di Matteo, in caretaker charge. Chelsea are now managed by Frank Lampard, who played under both apprentice and master Mourinho, with him being 33/1 in current football betting markets to steer them to another European Cup.

AVB had a season-and-a-half in charge of Spurs from the summer of 2012. After taking them to fifth in the Premier League, he was at the helm when Gareth Bale was sold to Real Madrid in 2013. 

That disastrous scattergun recruitment policy used to try and replace the Wales winger ultimately cost AVB his job. He has since had spells with Zenit St Petersburg in Russia and Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG, and is currently the Marseille manager. 

Glenn Hoddle


Glenn Hoddle” (CC BY 2.0) by Doha Stadium Plus

Boyhood Tottenham fan Glenn Hoddle also coached Chelsea first like Mourinho and AVB. This Rolls Royce of a midfielder began his playing career at White Hart Lane and spent 17 years, man and boy, with Spurs before moving abroad with Monaco in 1987.

Hoddle was signed for the Principality outfit by a then-young manager called Arsene Wenger. The irony of a future Arsenal icon working with a Tottenham hero shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

Given his talent on the pitch, Hoddle returned to England to be a player-manager of Swindon Town and then Chelsea. He moved to Stamford Bridge mere days after getting the Robins into the Premier League via the play-offs – a match in which Hoddle himself scored.

With the Blues, Hoddle attracted a number of high-profile foreign players and brought in old Spurs boss Peter Shreeves as his assistant. They guided Chelsea to the 1994 FA Cup final but lost handsomely to Manchester United.

His time as player-boss at Stamford Bridge attracted interest from the FA as a replacement for Terry Venables as England manager following Euro ’96. Although the top job brought controversies with it, Hoddle would return to club coaching – first with Southampton and then a homecoming at Tottenham where he replaced ex-Arsenal boss George Graham in 2001.

During two-and-a-half years at White Hart Lane, he again reached a cup final. Spurs lost out on the 2002 League Cup 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers, however, and Hoddle later ended his coaching career with Wolves without picking up a trophy.