Lionel Messi became the recipient of the Ballon d'Or 2019 when the Barcelona captain won the at a ceremony held in Paris.
The little magician beat some tough competition in the form of Virgil Van Dijk, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane. Van Dijk and Messi were the two strongest competitors for the award this year, but the Argentine captain prevailed to bag his 6th Ballon d'Or.
Messi has now won more Ballon d'Ors than anyone else in history, nudging ahead of Ronaldo, who was tied with his rival at five. The Barcelona forward had a phenomenal year as he scored and assisted over 60 goals and led his team to a La Liga triumph.
Liverpool's Van Dijk was also one of the front-runners for the award due to his impressive performances for the Reds but he just fell short at the end. The Dutchman won the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup while he also finished as a runner-up in the Premier League and the UEFA Nations League. Subsequently, he was earmarked by some to become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro to receive the award.
However, Messi beat the defender to the award with players, coaches and journalists considering the Argentine worthy of lifting the Golden Ball.Published 03 Dec 2019, 02:35 IST