Mario Tawfik Sports Editor, The Pawprint
The Argentine forward Leonel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for a record sixth time.
It is his first Ballon d’Or since 2015 and comes after he scored 54 times for his club and country in 2018-19, in which Barca won La Liga. Virgil van Dijk came second and Sadio Mane came fourth- two of the four Liverpool players in the top seven.
Juventus and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the award five times, came third in the voting.
The Ballon d’Or award has been won by a player from Spain’s La Liga in each of the last 11 years, including last year’s winner Luka Modric, who broke the 10-year Messi-Ronaldo monopoly on the prize.
“Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. It’s a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children.”
“As my wife said, you must never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy. I am very lucky, I am blessed.
“I hope to continue for a long time. I realize that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will ring. It will be difficult.
“But I still have beautiful years ahead of me. Time goes by very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family,” Messi said.
In Messi’s entire career, the Argentine manges to get up to 700 appearances for Barca in which he scored 614 goals while winning 34 trophies, including 10 La Liga and 4 Champions League titles, and multiple other records and awards.
The Top 10 List:
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)
4. Sadio Mane (Liverpool and Senegal)
5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
6. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain and France)
7. Alisson (Liverpool and Brazil)
8. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City and Portugal)
10. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City and Algeria)