By Adedapo Adesanya
Barcelona and Argentina star, Lionel Messi, won his sixth Ballon d’Or at an event held at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday night.
He won the award ahead of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, who helped his team clinch the Champions League last season in second place and in third, Cristiano Ronaldo, whom they were both tied on five a-piece to become all-time winner.
This would be his first award in four years as the last four editions had seen Cristiano Ronaldo win three while Croatian International and Real Madrid playmaker, Luka Modric, won the award last year.
“Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. It’s a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children,” Messi said after he received the priced asset.
“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.
“I hope to continue for a long time. I realise 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” he further said before leaving the stage amidst cheers from the audience.
Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson, won the inaugural Lev Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper ahead of Barcelona’s Germany international, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and fellow Brazilian, Ederson of Manchester City.
Defender Matthijs de Ligt took the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best under-21 player and selected by former Ballon d’Or winners.
In the women’s category, USA’s Megan Rapinoe won the women Ballon d’Or after helping her country win its second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019. She beat England defender Lucy Bronze, who came second. Rapinoe’s American teammate Alex Morgan was third.
Rapinoe scored six goals in the tournament, earning the Golden Boot as the top scorer and the Golden Ball as the top player.
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