Lionel Messi crowned 2019 Ballon d’Or winner

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Soccer Football - The Ballon d’Or awards - Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, France - December 2, 2019 Barcelona's Lionel Messi with his six Ballon d'Or trophies REUTERS/Christian Hartmann TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Messi was involved in 63 goals in total in the past 12 months for both club and country, including 46 goals and 17 assists as the playmaker helped Barca to retain their La Liga crown.

Lionel Messi clinched his sixth Ballon d’Or award on Monday after yet another scintillating season for the Argentine.

The 32-year-old saw off competition from the likes of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to win the prestigious accolade, which is voted for by journalists.
Messi won the award for the first time in 2009 but had not won it since 2015. The Barcelona forward now has one more title than arch rival Ronaldo.
“Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. It’s a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children,” said Messi at the award ceremony in Paris.
“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.”
Messi has maintained his ridiculously high levels over the last 12 months, becoming Europe’s top scorer for a third consecutive season and winning his 10th La Liga title with Barcelona.
He was also named The Best FIFA Men’s Player in September, once again beating Ronaldo to the title.
This season has started in familiar fashion with the magician scoring nine league goals for the Catalan club. He netted a superb late winner against title rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday and was called “infallible” by his manager Ernesto Valverde.
Messi added: “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 very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family.”

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