Ballon d'Or 2019: Ranking the favourites heading into the Champions League final
- The rankings have changed dramatically after the Champions League semi-finals.
Four of Europe's top five leagues have come to an end with the champions of Spain, Italy, France, and England all decided. Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have come out on top in their respective leagues after season-long battles but none of them will lift the coveted Champions League trophy.
In a season full of stand-out performances, the race for football's highest individual honour will undoubtedly come down to the wire and with most domestic leagues now over, the Champions League will play a decisive role in the voting process.
For the better part of the decade, European success has been a key decider in the Ballon d'Or awards. In the last six years, all winners of the coveted prize have won the European competition that season. Real Madrid's Luka Modric carried this routine through when he won the Ballon d'Or for his contribution to Los Blancos' European glory and Croatia's FIFA World Cup journey last year.
Here, we take a look at the current favourites to win the Ballon d'Or in the run-up to the Champions League final:
#5 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Cristiano Ronaldo's chances of winning a sixth Ballon d'Or are very slim despite his quick adaptation to the Serie A this season.
While the 34-year-old has helped the Old Lady to an eighth successive Serie A title, he failed to inspire his side to the Champions League title, a feat that he was particularly brought to Turin for. Juventus crashed out of the European competition after a surprising defeat to Dutch giants Ajax in the quarter-finals.
Individually, the former Real Madrid has had a decent enough season in a new league, having netted 28 goals for the Bianconeri in all competitions.
The Portuguese talisman remains on this list keeping in mind his consistency and his contribution to his team in Italy and Europe, but his failure to inspire Juventus beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League drops him down a couple of spots.
For the first time in years, Ronaldo could even end up outside of the podium this year.