Only one man could take it and defying all imagination once more on the greatest night in world football was that man, Lionel Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or for a mind-numbing sixth time.
He now stands man alone in this club after the 64th Ballon d’Or ceremony took place at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on December 2. Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk clinched second spot with Cristiano Ronaldo trailing in third on this occasion, while Senegal forward Sadio Mané made it in fourth overall.
A total of 186 international journalists decided on the awards with the next six best men’s players comprising of Riyad Mahrez; Bernardo Silva; Robert Lewandowski; Allison Becker; Kylian Mbappé and Mo Salah. In numbers, Messi reigns supreme and as with other Ballon d’Or wins behind him, his numbers have always held him in great stead.
He has made 701 appearances in the blue and crimson of Barcelona, netting all of 614 times in this time, including a record 428 in La Liga. In 2012, Messi racked up 91 goals to break the calendar-year record set by German, Gerd Müller, in 1972. For his efforts and sharpened arsenal in front of goal, the Argentine has amassed 52 career hat-tricks; 46 for Barcelona, six for Argentina while earning 10 La Liga and four Champions League titles, in the process.
I would like to thank all of the journalists who voted for me and wanted me to have this prize. Thank you so much to my colleagues who have actually contributed a lot to this prize. It is amazing, thank you so much!A visibly pleased Messi after being handed his latest individual gong.
Dutch and Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt won the Kopa Trophy for the best young player while the first-ever Yachine Trophy, awarded to the best goalkeeper in the world, went the way of Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, who also won the Golden Glove Award last season.
Becker staved off stiff competition from Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marc-André te Stegen, Hugo Lloris, Jan Oblak, Ederson, and Manuel Neuer, among others, to land the prestigious goalkeeping accolade.
The women’s Ballon d’Or award was won by United States’ 34-year-old World Cup-winning midfielder, Megan Rapinoe, who netted six goals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year. Rapinoe displaced Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, who won the women’s award last year, while Lucy Bronze of England took second place and Rapinoe’s United States teammate, Alex Morgan, ascended the podium in third.