Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi claimed a record sixth Ballon d’Or in Paris last night ahead of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Argentine moved one clear of Ronaldo after the pair had been locked on five awards each as he reclaimed 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 10th 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.
Meanwhile, Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt beat Nigeria international Samuel Chukwueze to win the Kopa Trophy at the 2019 Ballon d’Or going on in Paris, France.