Lionel Messi beats Virgil van Dijk and Ronaldo to win sixth Ballon d’Or award

World football star, Lionel Messi, beat Virgil van Dijk to win football’s most prestigious individual prize, FIFA Ballon d’Or for a record sixth time.

The Barcelona number 10 previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012 before claiming his fifth Ballon d’Or in 2015.

In his words;

“It is 10 years since I won my first Ballon d’Or here in Paris and I remember coming here with my three brothers, I was 22 and it was all unthinkable for me what I was going through, 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. I am aware of the age I have but I hope I have several years left to keep enjoying my football and doing this.”

Messi is now the first player to win a sixth golden ball trophy, moving one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s haul of five. Ronaldo, who did not attend the ceremony in Paris, ranked third behind Van Dijk, and ahead of the defender’s teammate Sadio Mane in 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. He went on saying “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, hopefully, we can do that again this year. But that will be tough with those guys around here still.”, Messi said.

However, Megan Rapinoe won the women’s award, Alisson Becker won the best goalkeeper’s Yachine Award, and Matthijs de Ligt won the best young player’s Kopa Award.

You might want to see this witty comment from a Twitter user.

Congratulations LEO on a well-deserved award!