3 Academy prospects Paris Saint-Germain didn’t capitalize03 April 2020 / Miguel Coelho
Paris Saint-Germain has an history of wasting their youth talent. Who are they?
The 2019 Ballon d'Or will be handed out this Monday night in Paris, with Messi being the favorite to receive his 6th trophy. Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo are also in contention for the prize in a 30-man shortlist.
All the lights will be in Paris tonight.
Get to know some interesting facts regarding tonight's ceremony:
It's more than any other. Messi won the trophy for 4 consecutive times between 2009 and 2012. His last trophy was in 2015 and tonight everything points for the Argentinian to be crowned once again.
Manchester United has 4 winners, 2 of them produced in the club. It all began with the legendary striker Denis Law in 1964, the one and only Scottish player to lift the trophy. Then, 2 youth academy products were awarded: Sir Bobby Charlton in 1966 and George Best in 1968. The last one is, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008.
Produced in Club Atletico River Plate, Alfredo Di Stefano is an icon that grabbed 2 awards, in 1957 and 1959. The other product of River's youth academy is the Italian Argentine attacking midfielder Omar Sívori, who conquered the trophy in 1961.
Portugal has 3 winners in Eusebio, Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo. The last two started in the club, is undoubtedly the best players the club ever had and two of the major references in Portuguese football history. Figo won the trophy in 2000 when he was in Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo has 5 awards: the one with Manchester United in 2008, and 4 with Real Madrid (2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017).
The legendary USSR keeper Lev Yashin won the award in 1963. Nicknamed the "Black Spider", the soviet is considered by many as the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the sport. He spent all his career in Russia, playing for Dynamo Moscow between 1950 and 1970.
Began with Franz Beckenbauer in 1972. Then the also German Matthias Sammer in 1996, following an incredible European campaign by Borussia Dortmund that lifted the UEFA Champions League in that year. Fabio Cannavaro ends the list, winning the award in 2008. The Italian was the captain and a key piece in Italy's World Cup win in that year.
The Reds have 7 nominees in the 30 players that compose the shortlist, one of them being a strong contender to win: Virgil van Dijk. The seven are Van Dijk, Firmino, Alisson, Wijnaldum, Alexander-Arnold, Mane and Salah.
For the first time since 1993, no Spanish player is amongst the 30 nominees for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or. It means that players like De Gea, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Busquets or Saúl Niguez are all out.
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