THE STORIES BEHIND THE HEADLINES

Abu Dhabi

London

New York

Sat, 07 Dec 2019 08:43 GMT

Messi Wins Record Sixth Ballon d’Or

Sport

Ahmed Ahmed

Tue, 03 Dec 2019 05:48 GMT

Lionel Messi has yet again has cemented his name in the history of football after becoming the first player to win Ballon d'Or for the sixth time.

The Argentinian striker beat out Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award for the first time since 2015.

Messi scored an incredible 54 goals for club and country in 2019. He also led Barcelona to their third straight La Liga title and to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Messi previously won the award in the years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015. He now surpasses his long-time rival Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d'Or titles.

AFP reported that Messi recalled his first Ballon d'Or, won a decade ago. "It is ten years since I won my first Ballon d'Or here in Paris and I remember coming here with my three brothers, I was only 22”, he said.

"Now, ten years on, this is my sixth, in a very different time, very special in my personal life with my wife and three children."

Messi also added that he believes he has several years of football left in him, despite his age in a game mostly dominated by younger players.

Matthijs De Ligt was voted best young player ahead of Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Atletico's Madrid's Joao Felix.

Liverpool goalkeeper Allison won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper ahead of Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Meanwhile, Megan Rapinoe capped of her superb World Cup-winning year by taking the Women's Ballon d'Or ahead of Lucy Bronze and teammate Alex Morgan.

The full list:

● 1: Lionel Messi

● 2: Virgil van Dijk

● 3: Cristiano Ronaldo

● 4: Sadio Mane

● 5: Mo Salah

● 6: Kylian Mbappe

● 7: Allison

● 8: Robert Lewandowski

● 9: Bernardo Silva

● 10: Riyad Mahrez

● 11: Frenkie de Jong

● 12: Raheem Sterling

● 13: Eden Hazard

● 14: Kevin de Bruyne

● 15: Matthijs De Ligt

● 16: Sergio Aguero

● 17: Roberto Firmino

● 18: Antoine Griezmann

● 19: Trent Alexander-Arnold

● 20: Dusan Tadic and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

● 22: Son Heung-Min

● 23: Hugo Lloris

● 24: Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc-Andre ter Stegen

● 26: Karim Benzema and Georginio Wijnaldum

● 28: Joao Felix, Marquinhos and Donny van de Beek

Europe