Lionel Messi became the first male footballer to win the Ballon d'Or for the sixth time, winning Monday the prize for the best male player in the world at a gala in Paris.
The Argentine striker has scored 46 times for the club and the country in 2019 - including the only goal of the 1-0 win of Barcelona on the 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 I'm lucky even if one day it's time to retire.
"It will be difficult, but I still have a few years ahead of me. Time flies, so I appreciate football and my family. "
Messi has also established himself in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 and he is now one of his Cristiano Ronaldo who has 5.
The Liverpool striker Sadio Mane finished fourth behind Ronaldo in the final vote.
"It was incredible," Van Dijk said. "There are some players like him [Messi] who are fantastic. I am proud of what I accomplished in Liverpool and Holland. When they are there, it will be difficult [to win the award]. "
The ten years of the grip of Messi and Ronaldo on the trophy organized by France Football magazine were closed by Luka Modric .
Messi has regained the top of his game these last 12 months: he scored 36 times last season to win his 10th title in the Liga of Spain and was the top scorer in the Champions League. The biggest leagues in Europe earned him the gold trophy.
"A few years ago, I received my first Golden Ball here in Paris," said Messi. "I was 22 years old. It was unthinkable at the time. Today is my sixth Golden Ball. As my wife said, you should never stop dreaming, but always work to improve yourself and keep you entertained. "
The American star Megan Rapinoe won the Women's Golden Balloon Award after being voted the top player and scorer of the tournament, the 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 best male player in the world under the age of 21.
Reuters and the Associated Press have been used in this report.
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