Ballon d'Or 2019: Lionel Messi's record-breaking sixth coronation
The winner of the 2019 Ballon d'Or was announced at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France.
Lionel Messi was once again, for a record-breaking sixth time, crowned the world's best player and quite deservedly so. The year was a good one for him; from scoring 41 goals and providing 15 assists in 44 games, to getting a bronze medal at the 2019 Copa America, to winning FIFA's the Best Men's award. It was altogether a good year for him and as he said himself the journalists who voted thought him to be their best and wanted him to have the crown.
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on the 2018 Ballon d'Or as Luka Modric, somewhat surprisingly, took the crown. Some might be forgiven for thinking that Messi and Ronaldo's run at the top was over in 2018 and some may have even be glad to have seen a different person scoop the award. Such has been their consistency that Luka Modric winning it was seen as unfair, especially by Ronaldo fans who felt their GOAT had been robbed of his sixth crown after a very productive year.
The Portuguese superstar, however, has not been at his best at Juventus. His body of work was not as impressive as that of Messi and Virgil van Dijk who both put in stellar performances throughout the year under review. Van Dijk led his team from the back to winning the Champions league and almost winning the Premier league. Messi scored goals (and a lot of freekicks) without end and helped FC Barcelona to tyet another title.
Because of this, this year's Ballon d'Or award was mainly between Messi and van Dijk with Ronaldo adjudged to be out of the running (something he seemed to be well aware of as he was not even in attendance at the ceremony, just as he snubbed the FIFA's the Best Awards ceremony in September).
Some may argue that van Dijk was more deserving to win the year's award than Messi due to his team having performed better.
The Liverpool center-back also impressed on national duty, helping Netherlands to a second-place finish at the UEFA Nations League. Messi, meanwhile, captained Argentina to third place at the 2019 Copa America.
The 32-year old's consistency and goalscoring proficiency over the past 11 years at the top level just slightly edged him above the Dutchman in the eyes of voting journalists and neutral football fans worldwide. Not to mention, his personal influence and performances for FC Barcelona.
Messi's performance and impact for the Blaugrana and Argentina is ever evident, as he has sometimes single-handedly led his teams to success. His squads quite clearly rely on him for inspiration and are a bit worse off when they are without his top-class ethereal quality. Messi has time and time again come good for them (although he worryingly doesn't yet have a senior international trophy to his name). Van Dijk, albeit debatably, can't be said to have been the most important factor to his teams' success.
All that being said, the diminutive wizard and father of three is absolutely one of football's best-ever players and has shown good value for his sixth ballon d'Or crown. His fans worldwide will no doubt, for a while at least be singing, "Long may Lionel reign. Messi! Messi!! Messi!!!".
Featured image credits: France24.com