Lionel Messi became the first male footballer to win the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time, winning the world's best male player award at a gala in Paris on Monday.
The Argentina striker has scored 46 times for club and country in 2019 - including the only goal in Barcelona's 1-0 win on Atletico Madrid Sunday. He also helped Camp Nou win the La Liga.
This 31-year old man defeated the Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk who played a decisive role in Liverpool's victory in the Champions League. for the prize voted by a panel of international journalists.
“I am very lucky, I am blessed. I hope I will continue for a long time, ”Messi told reporters. “I realize that I am lucky even if one day it will be time to retire.
It will be difficult, but I still have a few years ahead of me. Time flies so I enjoy football and my family. "
Messi also won in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 and he is now one of his Cristiano Ronaldo who has 5.
Liverpool striker Sadio Mane finished fourth behind Ronaldo in the final vote.
“It was amazing,” Van Dijk said. There are a few players like him [Messi] who are fantastic. I am proud of what I have accomplished in Liverpool and Holland. When they get there, it will be difficult [to win the award]. "
The ten years of Messi and Ronaldo's hold on the trophy organized by France Football magazine were closed by Luka Modric .
Messi has regained the upper hand in the past 12 months: he scored 36 times last season to win his 10th Spanish La Liga title and was the Champions League top scorer. The biggest leagues in Europe have won him the gold trophy.
“A few years ago, I received my first Ballon d'Or here in Paris,” Messi said. “I was 22 years old. It was unthinkable at the time. Today is my sixth Ballon d'Or. Like my wife said, you should never stop dreaming, but always work to improve yourself and keep having fun. "
The American star Megan Rapinoe won the Women's Ballon d'Or award after being voted the tournament's top player and top scorer, USWNT winning the 2019 World Cup in France
néerlandais Matthijs de Ligt Ajax's key player in Amsterdam in the Champions League semi-finals and now at Juventus, won the Kopa trophy for the world's best under-21 male player.
Reuters and The Associated Press were used in this report.
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