Lionel Messi defeats Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to win his 6th Ballon d’Or
The Spanish giant last won the award in 2015. So one can understand the excitement he must’ve felt when he was presented with the award. It is comes after he scored 54 times for club and country in 2018-19, in which Barca won La Liga.
Liverpool’s prolific defender Virgil van Dijk was second while Juventus and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the award five times, was third in the voting.
Megan Rapinoe who was Golden Ball winner as USA claimed their second successive in summer, won the women’s award.
She defeated England defender Lucy Bronze to claim the prize.
Liverpool keeper Alisson won the inaugural Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper, ahead of Barcelona’s Germany international Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Brazilian compatriot Ederson of Manchester City.
Defender Matthijs de Ligt took the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best under-21 player and selected by former Ballon d’Or winners. He defeated Borussia Dortmund and England forward Jadon Sancho to the award.
“Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. It’s a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children,” Messi said.
“As my wife said, you must never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy. I am very lucky, I am blessed.
“I hope to continue for a long time. I realise that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will ring. It will be difficult.
“But I still have beautiful years ahead of me. Time goes very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family.”
The Argentine forward recently notched up 700 appearances for Barca, during which time he has scored a phenomenal 614 goals while winning 34 trophies, including 10 La Liga and four Champions League titles, and a host of other records and awards.
Messi’s win means the Ballon d’Or award has been won by a player from Spain’s La Liga in each of the last 11 years, including last year’s winner Luka Modric, who broke the 10-year Messi-Ronaldo monopoly on the prize.