Ballon d’Or 2019: How Messi beat Ronaldo and Van Dijk to top prize

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best male footballer for a record sixth time after an outstanding 2018/19 season.

Even by Messi’s sensational standards, his campaign was a landmark one. The 32-year-old Argentine scored 36 goals in 34 La Liga matches as Barcelona defended their title, while he managed a further 12 goals in just 10 Champions League appearances.

In total, Messi scored 56 goals in 60 appearances for club and country last season.

Messi beat his old foe Cristiano Ronaldo to the award – who won the Serie A title in his debut season with Juventus – as well as Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who earlier this season won the Uefa Men’s Player of the Year. Luka Modric picked up last year’s award although missed out on a place on the 30-man shortlist this time around.

Here, we take a look at exactly how Messi managed to secure his sixth Ballon d’Or – and first since 2015.

What do you make of Messi’s latest Ballon d’Or success? Let us know in the comment section below.

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