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Ranking Lionel Messi's 6 Ballon d'Or winning campaigns 

Lionel Messi has won a record six Ballon d
Lionel Messi has won a record six Ballon d'Or awards.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 26 Feb 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Where does one even begin to describe Lionel Messi? Superlatives are just not enough to describe the player's stellar accomplishments.

Widely considered as the greatest player to have graced the game, the Barcelona superstar has been the epitome of brilliance and consistency. A prolific goal-scorer for almost two decades, Lionel Messi has won numerous titles and individual accolades during his illustrious career.

A look at Lionel Messi's six Ballon d'Or wins

One of the most prestigious silverware in his bulging cabinet is the Ballon d'Or award, which Lionel Messi has won a record six times. On that note, let's have a look at his six Ballon d'Or winning campaigns in terms of how the player and the team fared:

#6 Ballon d'Or 2010

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi's 2010 Ballon d'Or win was highly disputed.

Individual honours are often replete with controversies, as decisions sometimes tend to go in favour of ones who're not the most popular choice; one such instance was Lionel Messi's 2010 Ballon d'Or win.

Even though he played a key role in helping Barcelona win the La Liga and Supercup title that year, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, the two other nominees, were better contenders, as they helped Spain win their first-ever World Cup.

Then there was also Wesley Sneijder, who won a continental treble with Inter Milan while also helping the Netherlands reach the World Cup final. But he didn't even make the top three!

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Lionel Messi eventually won the Ballon d'Or award that year with just over 22% of the votes, the lowest by any winner in any of the six editions when the prize was given out by France Football and FIFA jointly.


#5 Ballon d'Or 2019

Lionel Messi was the world
Lionel Messi was the world's best player in 2019 for the sixth time in his career.

Here's another edition of the Ballon d'Or that was a closely contested one. Virgil van Dijk eventually fell short against Lionel Messi, with the Barcelona ace clinching his record sixth Ballon d'Or award by garnering just seven more votes than the Dutchman.

Lionel Messi was the only player that season to score over 50 goals. He played a key role in helping the Blaugrana win the La Liga title, scoring a league-high 36 goals and registering 13 assists.

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Lionel Messi's imperious run extended to European games, too, as the Blaugrana ace carried his team to the semi-finals of the Champions League, netting a competition-high 12 goals that season.

With most of his teammates underperforming and struggling with injuries, the burden of carrying Barcelona's title hopes once again fell on the Argentinian's broad shoulders. Suffice to say, Lionel Messi carried that out with aplomb and deservedly won a record sixth Ballon d'Or award.


#4 Ballon d'Or 2012

Lionel Messi was unstoppable in 2012, netting a staggering 91 goals.
Lionel Messi was unstoppable in 2012, netting a staggering 91 goals.

Remember that glorious year - 2012 - when Lionel Messi amassed a record 91 goals? Yes, this Ballon d'Or award was for precisely that, as the Barcelona ace produced arguably the most-prolific scoring year in recent memory.

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That year, Lionel Messi created some incredible records, too: He became the first player, remains the only one, to score 50 goals in a La Liga season; he scored consecutively against all 19 teams in the league. Lionel Messi also netted 14 times in the Champions League, which included five in one game.

Simply put, Lionel Messi was at the peak of his powers that year. Unlike his more creative role that he dons now, the Argentinian was the focal point of the Barcelona attack back then, ruthlessly finishing chances and devouring every side that came his way.

He may have won just one piece of silverware that year - the Copa Del Rey - as Cristiano Ronaldo won the league and the Super Cup. However, Lionel Messi's red hot form during the calendar year left no one in any doubt about his Ballon d'Or win.

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Published 26 Feb 2021, 20:40 IST
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