MX23RW : Friday, January 24 16:27:59| >> :600:4556156:4556156:

Lionel Messi wins record sixth Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi wins record sixth Ballon d'Or
© Reuters
The Argentinian beat Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo to the award.

Lionel Messi has won a record sixth Ballon d’Or crown at a ceremony in Paris.

The Barcelona star moved ahead of great rival Cristiano Ronaldo to take outright ownership of the record, seeing off Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus’ Ronaldo.

The Argentinian struck 54 goals for club and country in the 2018-19 season.

The 32-year-old held off the challenge of Holland centre-back Van Dijk, whose performances helped Liverpool to the Champions League title.

Van Dijk, the winner of UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year, could have been the first defender to lift the Ballon d’Or since Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, but he was left to settle for second place as Messi added another honour to the Best FIFA Men’s award he received in September.

And he fired a warning to his rivals that he only intends to keep on breaking records, and has no plans to start easing off now that he is in his early 30s.

“I’m going to enjoy this with my family,” he said. “Because those times when it’s possible to do it do not last long.

“Tomorrow we will have to focus again on other objectives.

“I am already focused on the future. This gives me great pride, it gives me a lot of strength to continue my work.”

Van Dijk still finished ahead of five-time winner Ronaldo, with his Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane fourth.

“It was an amazing year, but there’s a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural,” said Van Dijk, of Messi and Ronaldo.

“So you need to respect greatness as well.

“I was close, but there was just someone a little bit better.

“I’m very proud of what I achieved last year with Liverpool and Holland, and hopefully we can do that again this year. But that will be tough with those guys around here still.”

Van Dijk admitted he had never expected to be in the running for the prestigious title.

“I never thought that I would be up for a Ballon d’Or until I was actually nominated,” said Van Dijk.

“It shows a lot about how my career has been. My career has been different from the winner here, I came late, but I never gave up on my dreams.

“I had to work hard every step of the way, so to be here makes me very proud. And I want to work hard and be here again next year.”

Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt claimed the 2019 Kopa Trophy for the young player award.

The centre-back helped Holland to the final of the Nations League, with his former club Ajax reaching the Champions League semi-finals.

Alisson Becker lifted the inaugural Yachine Trophy to reward the top goalkeeper, with the Liverpool man also finishing seventh in the overall Ballon d’Or vote.

Megan Rapinoe won the Women’s Ballon d’Or after leading the United States to the Women’s World Cup title, scoring six goals and laying on three assists.

England’s Lucy Bronze came second as the Lyon full-back starred in the Lionesses’ run to the semi-finals.

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Lionel Messi

Click here for more stories about Liverpool

Share this article now:
New Instagram promo
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!