Ballon d'Or LIVE: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among favourites for award

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Lionel Messi is the hot favourite to win the seventh Ballon d’Or of his glittering career when the ceremony for the prestigious award takes place in Paris tonight. There are a total of 30 players in the running, including 14 Premier League stars such as Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool and England and Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount.

Yet it is Messi who has the shortest odds with most bookmakers following a superb 2021 in which he often single-handedly carried Barcelona before his move to PSG and also guided Argentina to a Copa America triumph in the summer.

But Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski may feel aggrieved if he once again misses out on the prize, with the Pole having netted a sensational 41 goals in the Bundesliga last season.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema and Chelsea’s Jorginho are two of the other outsiders to take home the trophy, but the reality is that it will now come as a big surprise if Messi is not the winner.

The Ballon d’Or ceremony returns tonight after being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid, and you can expect to see some of the most famous faces from the world of football present at Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet.

Follow all the latest from the French capital right here…

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