Lionel Messi claims record
PARIS: Lionel Messi won the sixth Ballon d'Or award for men on Monday, beating the top four candidates in Liverpool to win the prestigious individual football award.
The Argentine, who won the league title with Barcelona but finished third in the Copa America with his country, added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 trophies.
He beat Virgil van Dijk, runner-up, and third place Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, who won the award five times.
"Ten years ago I received the first Ballon d'Or under the guidance of my three brothers," Messi told the audience. "Today I'm receiving my sixth, guided by my wife and children."
Sadio Mane of Senegal, who along with Van Dijk and his fellow candidates Alisson Becker of Brazil and Mohamed Salah of Egypt helped Liverpool win the Champions League, finished fourth in the international journalists' survey.
Van Dijk said: “It was amazing.” There are a couple of players like Messi. I am proud of what I have achieved with Liverpool and the Netherlands. It will be difficult (to win the prize) when these players are close. "
Messi, who was again rewarded with excellent professional reward, and Ronaldo, among them, won 10 consecutive Ballon d'Or awards until Croatia's Luka Modric prevailed in 2018.
An incredible year
Megan Rapinoe won the women's Ballon d'Or after leading the United States to the fourth World Cup title in France this year, where she retained the title.
The 34-year-old midfielder, the main player in the June-July tournament, succeeded Norway's Ada Hegerberg who did not take part in the World Cup.
Rapinoe was not present at the concert at the Theater du Chatelet, where the show "An American in Paris" was presented.
"I'm so sad that I can't reach tonight. It's a great congratulation to the other candidates. I can't believe I won in this field, it was a wonderful year," Rapino said in a recorded message.
"I would like to thank my colleagues in the team and the United States Federation."
Dutchman Matthijs de Light, the main player in the exciting Ajax Amsterdam semi-finals in the Champions League and now at Juventus, won the Copa Cup for the best male player at U-21.
Alisson, one of Liverpool's four players in the top seven in the men's Ballon d'Or, won the new Yashin Cup for the best male goalkeeper of the year.
However, there was no trophy for the best female player or goalkeeper U-21.
Read More: FIFA Announces China As Expanded Club World Cup 2021 Host