On Monday, the 2nd of December, 2019, Lionel Messi won a record 6th Ballon d’Or with 24.4% of votes at the award ceremony held in France. It was the Argentine’s first Ballon d’Or since 2015, and it has come after the Barcelona playmaker scored 54 times for club and country in the 2018-19 season helping his club win the League title once again.
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool was second with 24.1% of the votes finishing just 7 points behind winner Leo Messi who had 686 points. Cristiano Ronaldo was finished 3rd on the list, and it was the first time in 10 years that he had finished outside the top 2 in the Ballon d’Or rankings.
Meanwhile, Lucy Bronze of England was beaten to the women’s award by first-time winner and captain of the USWNT Megan Rapinoe. Liverpool and Brazil Goalkeeper Alisson Becker claimed the inaugural Yashin Trophy for the Best Goalkeeper ahead of Barca and Germany goalkeeper Marc- Andre Ter Stegen and fellow Brazilian Ederson. Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt won the Kopa Trophy which is awarded to the best under-21 player of the season.
Messi’s win means that a player from La Liga has won the Ballon d’Or for the last 11 years. The top 7 players included four players from Liverpool with Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah and Alisson finishing 4th,5th and 7th respectively. Kylian Mbappe was ranked 6th, and Robert Lewandowski, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez completed the top 10.
Reacting to the Argentine’s victory Virgil van Dijk said, “ It was a fantastic year, but there’s a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural. So you need to respect greatness as well.
“I was close but some one a little bit better.”