Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been crowned the best player in the world for a record sixth time as he scooped the prestigious Ballon d’Or crown at a glittering ceremony in Paris on Monday. Messi collected the prize ahead of Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who finished second and third respectively.
Messi’s son Mateo came up with a priceless reaction while seated in the audience while dad was being handed the trophy. Mateo jumped up and down in his seat, sporting a broad smile as he witnessed his legendary dad script history.
The official handle of Ballon d’Or uploaded the video on social media and their post read: “When your dad became the 2019 Ballon d’Or ! #ballondor.”
The Argentine, who won the Liga title with Barcelona but only managed third place in the Copa America with his country, added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 trophies. Messi, whose stellar career was rewarded with another trophy, and Ronaldo, had between them won 10 consecutive Ballon d’Or awards until Croatia’s Luka Modric prevailed in 2018.
“I am very lucky, I am blessed. I hope I will continue for a long time,” Messi told reporters. “I realize that I’m lucky even if one day it will be time to retire,” added the 32-year-old.
“It will be tough but I still have some years ahead of me. Time flies so I will enjoy football and my family.”
Senegal’s Sadio Mane, who along with runner-up Van Dijk and fellow Liverpool nominees Alisson Becker of Brazil and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, helped the Merseyside club win the Champions League, came fourth in the poll of international journalists.