Lionel Messi, the Barcelona forward, as emerged the winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
The 32-year-old on Monday, December 2, 2019, in a ceremony in Paris beat Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo to the top award.
Messi thus becomes the first player to win the award on six occasions, having been tied with Ronaldo on five before tonight.
This is the first time Messi is winning the Ballon d’Or since 2015.
The Argentine won four Ballons d’Or between 2009 and 2012 before claiming the prize again in 2015.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric claimed the prestigious prize in 2018, but the Barca forward has now collected a record sixth Golden Ball.
Messi had been seen as the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or this year, having beaten Van Dijk to FIFA’s The Best trophy in September.
The Argentine attacker hit 51 goals in 50 appearances in 2018-19 as Barcelona won LaLiga but lost out to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals.
Messi and his teammates also lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia, having been just three games from a treble, and Messi’s Argentina team were beaten by eventual champions Brazil in the semi-final of the Copa America in July.
Despite those letdowns, Messi has been crowned king again.
Meanwhile, United States midfielder, Megan Rapinoe, has won the women’s Ballon d’Or award after helping her country to retain the World Cup in France this year.
The 34-year-old was the driving force behind the U.S. team that claimed a record-extending fourth world title in July.
Also on Monday, December 2, 2019, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson became the first ever-recipient of the Yachine Trophy given to the best goalkeeper.
The Brazil international beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona and countryman Ederson of Manchester City.