Ballon d’Or 2019 LIVE: Lionel Messi beats Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to win record sixth prize

Luke Brown, Lawrence Ostlere
The Independent
Lionel Messi arrives at the awards ceremony in Paris: EPA
Lionel Messi arrives at the awards ceremony in Paris: EPA

Lionel Messi has won a record sixth Ballon d'Or crown at a ceremony in Paris. The Barcelona star moved ahead of great rival Cristiano Ronaldo to take outright ownership of the record, seeing off Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus' Ronaldo.

The Argentinian struck 54 goals for club and country in the 2018-19 season.

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The 32-year-old held off the challenge of Holland centre-back Van Dijk, whose talismanic performances helped Liverpool to the Champions League title.

Messi added another Ballon d'Or to the Best FIFA Men's award in 2019, while Liverpool's Van Dijk had claimed UEFA's Men's Player of the Year.

Van Dijk could have been the first defender to lift the Ballon d'Or since Italy's Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 but Messi scuppered the Liverpool man's chances.

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Netherlands international Van Dijk, already Uefa Player of the Year, came second to Messi in the voting for Fifa World Player of the Year in September.

The 28-year-old said: “I am going to have a look at what it is about. I am going to be there for a reason and there are no losers on the evening.

“I am very proud to be in that bracket, to be in there for the way I performed with the team last year and also with the country.

“It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kind of things.

“There’s going to be a winner but there are no losers. We will see what happens.”

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