Lionel Messi has won the 2015 Fifa Ballon d’Or ahead of Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona team-mate Neymar, claiming the prestigious award.
It is Messi’s fifth World Player of the Year title – more than any other player in history – and thwarts Ronaldo’s quest to tie his haul of gongs, with the Madrid star having picked up the award in each of the last two seasons.
The Ballon d’Or award caps yet another remarkable year for Messi, who secured five trophies and a famous treble with Barcelona in a dominant 2015, ending the Catalan club’s four-year wait for another Champions League victory – his fourth title in Europe’s premier club competition.
“It is a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after being there in the audience watching Cristiano win.
“It’s incredible this is my fifth. It’s much more than anything I’ve dreamed of as a kid. I want to thank everyone who voted for me and I want to thank my team-mates. And lastly, I want to thank football in general for everything it has brought me. Both the bad and the good. Because it has made me learn and grow.” Messi said
Messi scored a remarkable 52 goals for club and country across the calendar year – five less than Ronaldo – as well as contributing 26 assists in 61 appearances, scoring or assisting every 0.78 games.
The 27-year-old first won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, before it merged with Fifa’s World Player of the Year award, and won it every year afterwards until 2012 when his stranglehold on the award was finally broken by Ronaldo.
FIFA Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi
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FIFA World Coach of the Year (Women’s): Jill Ellis
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Ramos, Dani Alves; Iniesta, Modric, Pogba; Messi, Neymar, Cristiano
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