Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has expressed his excitement over his fifth World Player of the Year Award.
The Argentine who made it an impressive fifth at a gathering of football’s best in Zurich on Monday couldn’t hide his joy at the feat which saw him beat closest rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. He dedicated his award to his playing colleagues.
“I accept this prize with a lot of serenity, tranquility, I am enjoying it, always thinking of the fact that it is thanks to the team and to my teammates, and all that we have been able to achieve this year.”
Meanwhile football fans in Buenos Aires have taken to the streets and pubs to celebrate Messi’s fifth Ballon d’Or.
A record that is set to go into football’s good books, it comes after four straight ones achieved from 2009 to 2012.
“Proud, I’m really excited, I usually come here everyday to have a coffee and it just happened to coincide with the announcement and you can see that in my eyes. Messi represents us, he represents Argentina, not only as a soccer player, but also as a person,” said Alejandro Ojedo.
“Very well-deserved, for me he’s (Lionel Messi) the best in history, even better than Diego Maradona so I think it’s (Ballon d’Or) in good hands,” said Jorge Casanova.
Messi helped Barcelona win a Spanish league cup and Champions League plus the Club World Cup. He also led Argentina to the Copa America final, where they lost to Chile.
The award ceremony was held in the Zurich Kongresshaus theatre, against the backdrop of FIFA going through some turbulent times in worst corruption claims against key figures.