FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year 2019: Twitter reacts as Lionel Messi beats Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to the award
The Argentina international was recognised for his scintillating exploits for the Catalan giants last season, during which he tallied 51 goals and 22 assists in 58 games in all competitions.
The 32-year-old forward registered 36 goals in La Liga alone and was subsequently presented with the European Golden Shoe and the Pichichi Trophy.
The win marks the sixth time that Messi has won the award, thereby beating Ronaldo to become the record holder of the FIFA title.
The talismanic pair shared a monopoly over the award for a decade before Luka Modric broke the cycle when he swooped all individual prizes last year.
In the final voting, Messi finished with 46 points, Van Dijk with 38 points and Ronaldo with 36 points. The top ten was completed by Mohamed Salah (26), Sadio Mane (23), Kylian Mbappe (17), Frenkie de Jong (16), Eden Hazard (16), Matthijs de Ligt (9) and Harry Kane (5).
The Blaugrana superstar was also included in FIFA's Team of the Year alongside the likes of Sergio Ramos, Kylian Mbape and Eden Hazard.
Messi led Barcelona to their fourth La Liga title in five seasons but was heavily tipped to miss out on individual prizes, owing to the Spanish champions' collapses in the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey earlier this year.
His performances with Argentina in the Copa America were also subjected to heavy criticism and were believed to be a stumbling block for him in the race for individual prizes this year.
This is how Twitter reacted to the news of Messi winning the award: