Lionel Messi crowned 2019 Ballon d’Or winner

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was second, ahead of Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow Reds forward Sadio Mane

Messi was involved in 63 goals in total in the past 12 months for both club and country, including 46 goals and 17 assists as the playmaker helped Barca to retain their La Liga crown.

“I would like to thank all of the journalists who voted for me and wanted me to have this prize,” said Messi after picking up the award in Paris on Monday night alongside his two sons and wife.

“Thank you so much to my colleagues who have actually contributed a lot to this prize. It is amazing, thank you so much.”

Messi was presented with the gong by 2018 winner Luka Modric and that means as well as this year, the Argentina international has also won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

The Barca captain beat Liverpool’s Netherlands centre-back Virgil van Dijk into second place, while his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo was third in the voting, with Liverpool forward Sadio Mane fourth.

“It was an amazing year, but there’s a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural,” said Van Dijk, of Messi and Ronaldo.

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