After the Ballon d’Or 2019 rankings were announced on Monday, Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min finished at the highest-ever ranking achieved by an Asian. He finished 22nd among a nominee list consisting of 30 best players from around the world.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi bagged his sixth Ballon d’Or award, becoming the most successful player since the inception of the award.
The top-ten list for Ballon d’Or 2019 is as follows:
Virgil van Dijk
Kevin de Bruyne
Notably, Son was the first Asian player to be nominated for the award after Younis Mahmoud of Iraq in 2007. Mahmoud had finished 29th in that year.
Other Asian players, namely Seol Ki-Hyeon and Park Ji-sung were nominated in 2002 and 2005 respectively but they were part of the 50 candidate shortlist in their respective years and neither of the candidates managed to get a vote in their favour.