Lionel Messi won the sixth Ballon D’Or of his magnificent career to surpass Cristiano Ronaldo and create a new record. The Barcelona talisman beat Virgil Van Dijk to claim the 2019 Ballon D’Or after leading Barcelona to the La Liga triumph yet again.
Messi scored the most number of goals and assists in both the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League last season to win the FIFA the Best Award. In the current campaign, Messi has scored 8 goals in matches in La Liga and another two goals in the Champions League for Barcelona to win the Ballon D’Or, which is offered to the best performing player in the calendar year.
Van Dijk had a stunning year for Liverpool had to settle for second spot. Liverpool have leaked goals in the current campaign, which made it even more tougher for FIFA The Best runner-up to post a greater challenge in the Ballon D’Or rankings to Lionel Messi who has been in red-hot form this calendar year.
The 32 year old has won 10 La Liga titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles, 6 Copa Del Reys and 3 FIFA Club World Cups. The little maestro has also won the FIFA the Best Player of the Year award 6 times in his remarkable career.
In the process, Messi has scored 614 goals and grabbed 250 assists in just 701 matches for FC Barcelona. His detractors have pointed out to the failure to win titles with his International team, which is a hugely skewed perspective as the Argentine led his country to the FIFA World Cup finals, which they lost 1-0 in extra time to a superior German team which was balanced in every department from the goal keeper to the striker.
In the modern game, football matches at the highest level are won and lost by millimeters and Argentina despite possessing top stars at attack didn’t possess as much quality in other departments such as defence. Also, the south American nation struggled to find managers of the quality of Joachim Löw for big tournaments.
Lionel Messi should be rightly credited for leading his country to the finals of prestigious competitions such as the FIFA World Cup and the Copa America. Lionel Messi who rose to prominence under Pep Guardiola’s reign at Barcelona has replicated his goal scoring form in the later years under various managers such as Tito Vilanao, Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde.
Messi’s sixth Ballon D’Or sets him apart from any other player in history and it remains to be seen if anyone can replicate such a mammoth feat in the future. For now, this little Argentine stands tall head and shoulders above his arch-rivals and it is time to celebrate the 32 year old’s incredible journey as he enters the twilight of his career.