32-year-old Argentine Lionel Messi claimed his sixth Ballon d’Or last night in Paris, solidifying his G.O.A.T. title in the Beautiful Game. After being overtaken by Luka Modric, who broke a 10-year streak that saw both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo being awarded the coveted title, Messi claimed the lauded trophy once again, four years since his last.
During the 2018/19 season alone, Messi scored 54 times for club and country and also led Barça in winning La Liga. On winning Messi told the crowd, “Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. It’s a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children.” Messi continued, “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.”
Messi’s recent win also means the Ballon d’Or award has been won by a player from Spain’s La Liga in each of the last 11 years.
Coming in second place is Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, the big winner of the Champions League this year, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo in third. The latter has not left the podium since 2010. In fourth and fifth place are Liverpool teammates Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah. Seven Liverpool players placed in top 10. It’s also worth noting that for the first time no players from Real Madrid made the top 10 list.
In addition to the Ballon d’Or, other awards were also presented. The Kopa Trophy for the best player under 21 was awarded to Matthijs de Ligt by last year’s winner, Kylian Mbappé. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker was named Best Goalkeeper of the Year and was awarded the first-ever Yachine Trophy in history. Finally, the Women’s Ballon d’Or was awarded to 2019 World Cup Campion 34-year-old Megan Rapinoe. England defender Lucy Bronze came in second.
Take a look at the top 10 below:
2019 Ballon d’Or – Men’s
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
4. Sadio Mane (Liverpool and Senegal)
5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
6. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)
7. Alisson (Liverpool and Brazil)
8. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City and Portugal)
10. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City and Algeria)
2019 Ballon d’Or – Women’s
1. Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC and USA)
2. Lucy Bronze (Lyon and England)
3. Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride and USA)
4. Ada Hegerberg (Lyon and Norway)
5. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal and Netherlands)
6. Wendie Renard (Lyon and France)
7. Sam Kerr (Chelsea and Australia)
8. Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit and USA)
9. Ellen White (Manchester City and England)
10. Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon and Germany)
In more sports-related news, Real Madrid teams up with EA Sports for 2019/20 fourth kit.
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Gracias a @francefootball y a los periodistas que me votaron. Este premio no lo podría haber ganado sin la ayuda de mis compañeros, tanto del @fcbarcelona como de la @afaseleccion, por eso también es de todos ellos. Y por supuesto es de mi familia, a quienes también se lo dedico, y que tanto me apoyan cada día.
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This year has been the craziest of them all. I don’t even really know how put into words how special this has been. The TEAM shook the world, and continues to. Yes the 23 players on the field, yes the coaching staff, and extended staff for the team, but the TEAM I’m talking about goes far beyond those who are lucky enough to wear the crest. The TEAM is our family, friends, girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands. The TEAM is the thousands of fans who cheered for a team that asked them to care more about just the game of soccer, more than just themselves, more than just people who looked like them, more than just winning. For that, I am forever grateful. I think this World Cup win, and all the subsequent wins, both personal and team, feel so special because for the first time in a long time, it feels like WE ALL WON. And while I am truly honored to win @francefootball Ballon D’Or, I’d like to accept this on behalf of us ALL. WE DESERVE THIS. I am forever grateful to my beautiful family❤️ I know for a fact I wouldn’t be here with out you @sbird10 I love you forever ?