FRANCE – Lionel Messi becomes the first player in footballing history to win the Ballon d’Or 6 times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019).
The Argentine moved one clear of Ronaldo after the pair had been locked on five awards each as he reclaimed the title he last won in 2015, with the Portuguese claiming the two subsequent gongs and Luka Modric surprisingly picking up the accolade last year to end the 10-year dominance of the two footballing icons.
This year’s victor finished astonishingly fifth in last term’s rankings and has come back with a vengeance this time around, producing a typically outstanding year in front of goal for Barca, hitting 40 strikes this calendar year and registering a further 17 assists to boot.
The forward did so in just 3516 minutes on the field, putting his club tally at slightly better than a goal or assist every 61.7 minutes.
He also claimed a tenth La Liga trophy and a Supercopa de Espana but was denied in the final of the Copa del Rey and was on the wrong end of a 4-0 battering at Anfield that saw Liverpool eventually go on to claim the Champions League title.
Messi did finish as the top scorer in both the Champions League and La Liga and has already picked up another individual prize in the form of FIFA’s ‘The Best’ Men’s award.