Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been awarded the 2019 Ballon d’Or award which becomes his sixth award pipping Cristiano Ronaldo who remains on 5 whilst Megan Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or award in Paris on Monday night.
Liverpool defence stalwart Virgil Van Dijk finished second while Cristiano Ronaldo finished in third position.
Argentine, Messi who won the Liga title with Barcelona but only managed third place in the Copa America with his country, added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 trophies and has featured among the top three finalists more times (11) than any other player.
“I am very lucky, I am blessed. I hope I will continue for a long time, I realize that I’m lucky even if one day it will be time to retire,” Messi told reporters.
Trail blazer Megan Rapinoe completed a clean sweep of individual accolades after becoming only the second female player in the competition’s 64 year history to see her name etched on the Ballon d’Or trophy.
The 34-year-old was the driving force behind the US team that claimed a record-extending fourth world title in July and netted a penalty in the final against the Netherlands.
Rapinoe was not present at the ceremony to collect football’s most prestigious individual accolade.
“I’m so sad I can’t make it tonight. It’s absolutely incredible congrats to the other nominees. I can’t believe I’m the one winning in this field, it’s been an incredible year,” Rapinoe said in a recorded message.
Juventus and Netherlands defender, Matthijs de Ligt, 20, succeeded Paris Saint-Germain starlet Kylian Mbappe as the winner of the 2019 Kopa Trophy for the best Under-21 male player.
Alisson Becker was crowned the world’s best goalkeeper with the new Yashin trophy for the best male goalkeeper of the year.
There was, however, no trophy for the best female Under-21 player or best female keeper.
2019 Ballon D’or Rankings
- 1 = Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
- 2 = Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
- 3 = Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
- 4 = Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
- 5 = Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- 6 = Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
- 7 = Alisson (Liverpool)
- 8 = Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
- 9 = Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
- 10 = Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
- 11 = Frenkie De Jong (Barcelona)
- 12 = Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
- 13 = Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
- 14 = Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- 15 = Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
Women’s Ballon D’or Rankings
- 1 – Megan Rapinoe
- 2 – Lucy Bronze
- 3 – Alex Morgan
- 4 – Ada Hegerberg
- 5 – Vivianne Miedema
- 6 – Wendie Renard
- 7- Sam Kerr
- 8 – Rose Lavelle
- 9 – Ellen White
By Gerald Dandah