Barcelona great Lionel Messi has been voted the Men’s Ballon d’Or for the sixth time.
Messi was awarded for the first time in 2009 but has not won it since 2015.
After winning the prestigious award once again, the 32-year-old Argentine said: “I would like to thank the journalists, who voted me to have this prize. Of course, thank you so much to my colleagues both club and country, who have contributed to this amazing prize.
“Ten years ago I received my first Golden Ball in Paris. I remember that I came with my three brothers. I was 22 years old, it was unthinkable for me. Today, 10 years later, I receive the sixth, at a special time with my wife and three children.”
The top 4 players include Virgil van Dijk, who received the second-highest votes; Christiano Ronaldo third; and Sadio Mane, who finished fourth.
“I had a great season but sometimes you come up against players like [Messi], who are a bit unnatural. Six Ballon d’Ors, you gotta respect greatness. I was close but I lost out to someone better,” van Dijk said in a statement.
— Article written by Stephanie Moore