Lionel Messi bagged the award for best player in the world for a record sixth time when he lifted the Ballon d'Or 2019 trophy at the award ceremony in Paris.
Lionel Messi beats Virgil van Dijk to lift sixth Ballon d'Or
With the latest addition to his trophy cabinet, Messi has now left behind Cristiano Ronaldo who has lifted the coveted trophy five times and finished third behind Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk. USA's Megan Rapinoe won the women's award. The 34-year-old American football star had a solid year and she played an instrumental role for USA's World Cup-winning side.
On the occasion, Lionel Messi said, "Ten years ago I received my first Ballon d'Or, guided by my three brothers,". "Today, I received my sixth, guided by my wife and children. As my wife says, it's important to never stop dreaming and to always work to improve myself and continue to enjoy myself. I hope to continue to play for some time," he added.
He went on to say that it will be difficult for him to retire and thanked his fortune while stating that even if he hangs his boots up the 32-year-old will have some beautiful years ahead.
Alisson wins Lev Yashin prize
Virgil van Dijk finished second after winning Champions League with Liverpool. The defender congratulated Messi and said, "It was an amazing year but unfortunately there are a couple of players ... that are unnatural. You have to respect greatness." There were four Liverpool players who made it into Top 10 with Sadio Mane finishing fourth, Mohamed Salah fifth and Alisson finishing seventh.
Megan Rapinoe beat England's Lucy Bronze who came second while Rapinoe's teammate Alex Morgan came third. Rapinoe was not present at the awards ceremony. She expressed her delight in a recorded message.
Liverpool's Alisson was awarded the inaugural Lev Yashin prize for this year's best goalkeeper. Kopa Trophy for the best young player in the men's game was handed over to former Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt.