Messi bags Ballon d’Or for record sixth time
Published: 10:25 AM, 3 December 2019 Updated: 12:45 PM, 3 December 2019
Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time after beating Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. Megan Rapinoe won the women’s award, Allison Becker won the best goalkeeper’s Yachine trophy, and Matthijs de Ligt won the best young players' Kopa Award.
The Argentine star Messi won the record sixth time in a global journalist’s vote on Monday evening in the French capital, Paris. Messi and Ronaldo had a record of winning the prize five times so far.
Messi had a great season likewise. He played a crucial role in Barcelona in winning La Liga. The Argentine star also contributed to the Catalan club’s Champions League semi-final and the Copa del Rey final.
The Barcelona captain was even more brilliant at an individual at the club level. He won the Pichichi Trophy and European Golden Shoe with a maximum of 36 goals. He scored a maximum of 12 goals in the Champions League. Messi scored 54 goals in 58 matches in the last session for the club and national team.
But he did not have a good season for the national team. Argentina lost to Brazil in the semi-finals of the Copa America where he was seen in less performance. But that did not hinder him from being the Player of the Year.
He was out of a number of matches due to an injury earlier this season. But the Barcelona captain has already returned to the field and scored a maximum of 9 goals and assisted 5 goals so far.
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.
“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 realize that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will ring. It will be difficult,” Messi also said adding, “But I still have beautiful years ahead of me. Time goes very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family.”
Messi was first elected Player of the Year in 2009. The FIFA Player of the Year and France Football Magazine’s Ballon d'Or Award were given separately. He won both of them that year.
FIFA Ballon d'Or was named after two awards for six years ranging from 2010 to 2015. The Argentine forward won the award for three consecutive years. Messi bagged the prize again in 2015 for the fifth time after Ronaldo winning the prize for two consecutive years.
Meanwhile, Alisson lifted the inaugural Yachine Trophy to reward the top goalkeeper, beating Manchester City’s Ederson and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with the Liverpool man also finishing seventh in the overall Ballon d’Or vote.
Megan Rapinoe won the Women’s Ballon d’Or after leading the United States to the Women’s World Cup title, scoring six goals and laying on three assists. England’s Lucy Bronze came second as the Lyon full-back starred in the Lionesses’ run to the semi-finals.
De Ligt starred as the teenage captain of the thrilling Ajax side which reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and, still aged only 20, has made an encouraging start to life at his new club Juventus.
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