Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has written his name into the football record books by claiming a historic sixth Ballon d’Or trophy.
The diminutive forward was tipped to claim the honour and edged out a jam packed field of fellow superstars to leave Paris with another piece of hardware under his arm.
Messi was locked in a tie on top of the standings with Cristiano Ronaldo, but moves clear after claiming his first Ballon d’Or trophy since 2015.
Ronaldo finished third in voting, but no showed the ceremony, behind Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
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A host of Liverpool stars were expected to push for the award, but in the end it was the brilliance of the Barcelona magic man that won out.
“I would like to thank all of the journalists who voted for me and wanted me to have this prize,” Messi said.
“Thank you so much to my colleagues who have actually contributed a lot to this prize. It is amazing, thank you so much.”
Lionel Messi wins his sixth #BallonDor , breaking a tie for most ever with Cristiano Ronaldo. pic.twitter.com/YrkKKW2gfW
Messi enjoyed a dominant 2019 with 46 goals in a total of 54 games for both club and country to go along with 23 assists. He also helped Barcelona claim a record 10th La Liga crown.
He was the top goal scorer in both the Champions League and La Liga, along with being the assist leader in La Liga.
He was named the Golden Boot winner as well as adding the Pichichi trophy, La Liga best player award, UEFA Forward of the Year and best FIFA men’s player.
He won his first Ballon d’Or in 2009, followed by wins in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and now this year’s honour.
Lionel Messi is the 2019 #ballondor winner 🤚☝️ pic.twitter.com/5nNZXl05vY
📸 Messi collects his sixth #BallondOr trophy…
The greatest of all time? 😍 pic.twitter.com/HL0lbJHPKd
The Argentine has not showed any sign of slowing down since the start of the new European season, marking his 700th game for Barcelona last week with a goal and two assists in beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1.
Van Dijk clinched the 2019 Champions League crown with the Reds after defeating Messi’s Barcelona in the semifinals 4-3 on aggregate, included a 4-0 win at Anfield in the return match.
FINAL 2019 BALLON D’OR RANKINGS:
1. Lionel Messi
2. Virgil van Dijk
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
4. Sadio Mane
5. Mohamed Salah
6. Kylian Mbappe
8. Robert Lewandowski
9. Bernardo Silva
10. Riyad Mahrez
Messi's son was too hype ❤️
(via @francefootball) pic.twitter.com/KbJJDtdK4b
AWARD WINNERS ON THE NIGHT
Megan Rapinoe was a clear winner on the women’s side of things with the 34-year-old American taking the world by storm over the past 12 months.
Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or for leading the United States to World Cup glory in July.
She scored six goals in the championship, earning her the Golden Boot as the top scorer and the Golden Ball as the top player.
Here is the 2019 Women's Ballon d'Or Top 3 ⤵️
Liverpool have dominated world football in recent memory and their stopper Alisson Becker was rewarded by claiming the Lev Yashin award as the world’s best goalkeeper.
Becker edged out Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen and Manchester City’s Ederson to win the award and remains in contention for the top honour.
Liverpool’s @AlissonBecker wins the first ever Yashin Trophy for the world’s best goalkeeper 🧤 pic.twitter.com/67FoniKAHQ
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