Lionel Messi has set a new record by becoming the first player in history to win six Ballon d’Or trophies.
The Barcelona forward edged out Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to win the award, while the Argentine’s long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who did not attend the ceremony on Monday evening, finished in third place.
Messi, who lifted the coveted trophy in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015, helped Barcelona win La Liga this year and led Argentina to third place at the Copa America in July.
Meanwhile, Van Dijk was a pivotal part of Liverpool’s Champions League win this year and has been instrumental in the team’s push for the Premier League title.
The Dutch defender was one of seven Liverpool players on the shortlist alongside Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
‘To the journalists and my colleagues with whom I win and lose, I remember my first Ballon D’Or in Paris, when I arrived with my brothers, now I pick up the sixth, and this was absolutely unthinkable,’ Messi said after picking up the award.
‘I never stopped dreaming and enjoying football like when I was a child.
‘I hope I have more years to enjoy, although I am aware of how old I am, everything happens very quickly and I know that the moment of retirement is approaching.’
BALLON D’OR RANKING 2019
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
4. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
6. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
7. Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
8. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
9. Bernardo Silva (Man City)
10. Riyad Mahrez (Man City)
11. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
12. Raheem Sterling (Man City)
13. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
14. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
15. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
16. Sergio Aguero (Man City
17. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
18. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)
19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
=20. Dusan Tadic (Ajax)
22. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham)
23. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
24. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona)
=24. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)
26. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
=26. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
28. Donny van de Beek (Ajax)
=28. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)
=28 Marquinhos (PSG)
Elsewhere, Megan Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or after guiding United States to their fourth World Cup title in France this summer.
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