In a glittering ceremony in Paris on Monday, Barcelona and Argentina captain Lionel Messi edged reigning UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk and rival Cristiano Ronaldo to emerge winner of this year’s Men’s Ballon d’Or, dethroning Luka Modric for his 6th award.
Last year’s winner Luka Modric – the only winner in the past 11 years not named Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – did not make the cut while Messi and Ronaldo were very much in the running, having won it a joint-record five times each already.
Messi prior to tonight’s ceremony already won the Best Fifa Men’s award in 2019, while Van Dijk was Uefa’s Men’s Player of the Year and victory for Ronaldo on Monday would have seen the three biggest prizes in men’s football going to three different players for the first time.
In other categories, The Yashin award for best men’s goalkeeper went to Allison who won the Copa America with Brazil and the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool this year. Manchester City keeper Ederson takes third place in the results, sandwiching Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Megan Rapinoe who captains Reign FC in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), playing primarily as a winger won the women’s Ballon d’Or, displacing last year’s women’s winner Ada Hegerbergwho finished in fourth.
Rapinoe who won both the Golden Boot for top scorer and Golden Ball for the best player at the tournament and also collected the Best Fifa Women’s Player award in Milan in September was not present at the event to take her award. Lucy Bronze of England finished second, with Alex Morgan third.