Friday, 20 December 2019

Lionel Messi Bags Ballon d’Or Trophy For The Record Sixth Time

Lionel Messi has done it again! The star forward has bagged the 2019 Ballon d’Or award for the record sixth time. The FC Barcelona player was crowned the best player in the world for the first time in the last 4 years, in a star-studded ceremony held in Paris recently.

There was a lot of money riding on the probable winners of this award, and Messi beat a very strong competition from the kinds of Virgil Van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to bag the top honours. There was a growing buzz everywhere that the Argentine would indeed win the football’s highest individual accolade. A good number of well-known football prediction

portals had also backed the famous footballer to win it this time around. SPORT and Mundo Deportivo, the two main Catalonian newspapers had column inches filled with claims of the captain having done enough to please the Ballon d’Or jury.

Mundo Deportivo had already broken the news

The jury for the award comprises of 176 respected journalist from world over. However, Mundo Deportivo had in particular highlighted that France Football, the popular magazine which established the award before joining hands with FIFA in 2010, was already present in Barcelona and had conducted a photoshoot and interview with the Argentine.

It was in 2009 that Messi’s dominance on the Ballon d’Or award started. He claimed it thrice back-to-back under Pep Guardiola, and went on to win it the record 4th time straight, only to be interrupted by Cristiano Ronaldo thereafter. Ronaldo won it twice back-to-back before Messi made it again in 2015.

With Ronaldo playing a significant part in Los Blancos’ victory of the Champions League in 2016, making them the first team ever to win it twice, in 2017, he won it again and tied with Messi. This time around, Ronaldo chose not to be present to see Messi win it over him yet again. The Juventus striker is now 34 years old and is showing signs of winding down.

Messi had a number of achievements to show for the award

On the other hand, Van Dijk had helped Liverpool win the Champions League this time around, edging Barca by scoring an epic 4-3 (aggregate) semi-final victory at Anfield

 on their way. However, Messi scored a total of 47 goals in the 2018-19 and also assisted 19 in 55 matches.

Talking about the silverware, the Argentine won the Spanish Super Copa, La Liga, Golden Boot for being the leading goal scorer in Europe, Pichichi for being the top scorer in Spain and the award for being the most prolific scorer in Champions League.

Graciously accepting the Ballon d’Or trophy, Messi said, “I would like to thank all the journalists to have voted for me, who wanted me to win this prize. Thank you so much to my colleagues from the club, and all my colleagues who have contributed a lot for this prize. It's really amazing.” He further added: “I am aware of how old I am and these moments are much more enjoyable because the moment of withdrawal [from the game] is approaching, and it is difficult. Time flies and increasingly passes faster.”

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