Lionel Messi has won the 2019 Ballon d’Or award, claiming football’s top individual prize for a record sixth time.
At the ceremony held in France, Luka Modric presented the Barcelona captain with the trophy, after the Croatian’s year of holding it in 2018 came to an end.
This is Messi’s first triumph since 2015, after four years of Real Madrid control with Cristiano Ronaldo and Modric.
Messi was accompanied by his wife and two children, in addition to some of the club’s senior staff as he collected the trophy at the France Football gala.
Messi finished ahead of Virgil van Dijk, despite the fact the Dutchman helped drive Liverpool to Champions League glory and the Netherlands to the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
— #BallondOr (@francefootball) December 2, 2019
Mohamed Salah finished third in the voting, despite the fact Liverpool sensationally eliminated Barcelona in the semi-final of the Champions League in 2018/19.
Speaking after receiving the award, Messi said:
“I would like to thank all of the journalists who voted for me and wanted me to have this prize. Thank you so much to my colleagues who have actually contributed a lot to this prize. It is amazing, thank you so much.”
“Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. It’s a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children.
“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 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.”
The top ten was completed in the following order Sadio Mane, Alisson Becker, Kylian Mbappe, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Eden Hazard.