The Ballon d’Or award makes its long-awaited return next week, after the 2020 version was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and excitement has started to build ahead of the world’s best footballer being announced.

The ceremony will take place in Paris for the 2021 version, as some of the world’s best footballers prepare to descend on the French capital.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award since 2008, with Messi winning six times - the latest being in 2019 - compared to Ronaldo’s five, while Luka Modric is the only other player to have won it during that time (2018).

The winner is judged on their performances over the past 12 months and as football has made its return to normality in the wake of Covid-19 this year, the world’s most talented players have had their chance to shine.

Here is all you need to know ahead of the 2021 Ballon d’Or ceremony.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi is this year's favourite to win it again. (

Image:

Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

What time is the 2021 Ballon d’Or?

The ceremony for the 2021 Ballon d’Or takes place from 7:30pm on Monday, November 29, at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, France.

How to watch

You can watch a free livestream of the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app (available to UK users only).

Favourites

Lionel Messi

The Argentinian has risen to the top of the favourites list once again after another impressive year, featuring for both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner once again produced some impressive numbers for Barcelona in 2021 before he eventually departed them after 17-years, scoring 28 goals in 29 games in all competitions and winning a seventh Copa del Rey.

He also finally won a title with Argentina, claiming the 2021 Copa America in the summer, and has scored four goals in 9 PSG games so far this season.

Winning the Copa America with Argentina in the summer has given Messi a big boost ahead of the ceremony. (

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski has got better with age and is a serious contender to win the award after another outrageous goal scoring year for the Bundesliga club.

The Polish international has notched 53 goals in 41 games in 2021 for Bayern and has scooped up three trophies to match.

He also set a record for scoring in nine consecutive Champions League games with his goal against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday - the second time he has achieved this.

Robert Lewandowski has been a firm favourite all year with his remarkable goal scoring form. (

Image:

Getty Images)

Odds

Ballon d’Or 2021 winner odds, courtesy of Betfair:

Lionel Messi 8/13

Robert Lewandowski 11/10

Karim Benzema 22/1

Mohamed Salah 69/1

Jorginho 9/1

*odds subject to change

2021 Ballon d’Or nominations

Cesar Azpilicueta ( Chelsea )

Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)

Karim Benzema ( Real Madrid )

Leonardo Bonucci ( Juventus )

Kevin De Bruyne ( Manchester City )

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

Cristiano Ronaldo ( Manchester United )

Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)

Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

Jorginho (Chelsea)

Harry Kane ( Tottenham )

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)

Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)

Mason Mount (Chelsea)

Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

Pedri (Barcelona)

Mohamed Salah ( Liverpool )

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)

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