Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe are the winners of the Ballon d’Or award for the year 2019. That has been revealed at tonight’s ceremony in Paris.
Barcelona’s forward won the most prestigious individual award in football for the record 6th time, leaving behind Liverpool’s Virgin Van Dijk, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Sadio Mane. After four years of absence from the throne, the 32-year old Argentinian wrote the new history, leaving Ronaldo behind with five trophies.
“I remember my first Ballon D’Or in Paris, when I arrived with my brothers, now I pick up the sixth, and this was absolutely unthinkable. I never stopped dreaming and enjoying football like when I was a child,” Messi stated at the stage following the news that he won the competition.
— #BallondOr (@francefootball) December 2, 2019
Although his Barcelona won just the domestic championship, Messi was instrumental, scoring 54 goals for both the club and the national team.
Many believed that Liverpool’s center-back, Van Dijk, whose been awarded UEFA Player of the Year award, could win Ballon d’Or. Reds superb Champions League run and his unreal performances in both Premiership and on the international stage were the reason for hope, but it seems that it wasn’t enough.
“I had a great season, but sometimes you come up against players like him [Messi], who are a bit unnatural,” Van Dijk admitted that his rival deserved the honors.
Cristiano Ronaldo did not attend the ceremony, and according to various sources, he chose not to be present after finding out that his biggest rival won the award.
His teammate from the national team, Matthijs De Ligt won the Kopa Trophy for the best under-21 player. De Ligt was one of the key pieces in Ajax’s road to the semifinals, and it is why Juventus did everything to persuade him to come to Turin. The youngster is arguably one of the best defenders in the world if not the best, and his full potential is yet to be seen.
Van Dijk’s other teammate, only from Liverpool, Alisson Becker, was named the best goalkeeper in the world, receiving Yashin Trophy. Alisson was probably the best signing Liverpool had in years, and immediately after his arrival, the Reds’ defense went to another level. On several occasions, he single-handedly saved his team from the elimination in the UCL.
Meanwhile, Mega Rapinoe, Team USA co-captain, won the award in the female competition. She was absolutely fabulous at the World Cup in France, where she scored six goals and was named the player of the tournament. She couldn’t come to Paris, but instead sent a video message in which she thanked all of those who helped her achieve this recognition.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 2, 2019
“I’m so sad I can’t make it tonight. It’s absolutely incredible, congrats to the other nominees,” Rapinoe said. “I can’t believe I’m the one winning in this field, it’s been an incredible year. I want to thank my team-mates and the US federation.”
Rapinoe had a clash with the US President, MR. Trump earlier this year, after she publicly refused to attend the White House ceremony, which is held if one team wins a major tournament.
She succeeded Ada Hegerberg from Norway, who was the first winner of the female Ballon d’Or last year.
Lucy Bronze from England, came third, while Alex Morgan, another US player, ended third.