Lionel Messi Sixth Ballon d’Or Win

Lionel Messi claimed a record-breaking sixth Ballon d’Or in Paris last night but runner up Virgil van Dijk wasn’t far behind him at all.

The Ballon d’Or has been awarded by France Football since 1956 and sees their editorial staff put together the initial 30-man shortlist.

Lionel Messi win Ballon d’Or 2019

The crucial stage of voting then goes to to leading journalists from all over the globe, with one vote per nation. 2,816 points were awarded from 176 journalists who voted and Messi came on top by seven points.

The Times’ Henry Winter represented England this year and voted for Virgil van Dijk in first place, followed by Lionel Messi (who won the award for a record-breaking sixth time), Cristiano Ronaldo, Raheem Sterling and Alisson Becker.

There was no place in Winter’s top five for Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, who managed to sneak into the overall top 10.

In terms of continents, Europe and Asia had Van Dijk on top, but both North and South America, Africa and Oceania opted for Messi and helped score him a first Ballon d’Or since 2015.

Van Dijk, the highest ranked defender in Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro won the award back in 2006, gave a classy interview after losing out to Messi.