32-year-old superstar picked to receive prestigious award over his rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk
Barcelona’s Argentine superstar Lionel Messi received the 2019 Ballon d’Or award Monday for the sixth time.
Messi was given the coveted award during a ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, defeating Juventus’ Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.
He has now surpassed Ronaldo to become the all-time winner of the award.
Messi, 32, received the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015, adding one more Ballon d’Or for the Best FIFA Men’s award in 2019.
In addition to Messi, U.S. international midfielder Megan Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or.
Rapinoe won both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the best player at the tournament, finishing with six goals.
Italian club Juventus’ Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt received the Kopa Trophy for the best player in the world under the age of 21.
De Ligt, with Ajax, reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals last season, eliminating his current club Juventus.
Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker received the Yachine Trophy for the best men’s goalkeeper in world football.
Becker, 27, played a key role in Liverpool’s Champions League victory during their 2-0 win against Tottenham in the final last season.
Each year, France Football magazine awards its Ballon d’Or trophy to the world’s best football player.
The Ballon d’Or was organized by FIFA and France Football until 2015. They split, and FIFA set up its own awards, which have been held since 2016.