Lionel Messi takes back the throne as he wins his record-setting sixth Ballon d’Or. He came in fifth in 2018.
The 32-year-old Argentine striker was involved in 63 goals for club and country in 2019, totaling 46 strikes and 17 assists for Barcelona and Argentina at a rate of 1’17 per game.
Messi has done it again
The order has been restored, according to some pundits.
Still, others think second-place Virgil Van Dijk, the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, deserved his first Golden Ball for his utmost performance in leading the Reds to Champions League glory last season. Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the award in 2006.
Cristiano Ronaldo, always a shoo-in candidate for the Golden Ball, finished in third place. It’s the first time since 2010 that Ronaldo has finished outside the top two.
Liverpool sensation Sadio Mane finished in fourth despite fellow players like Eden Hazard tipping the Senegalese striker for his first Ballon d’Or.
Liverpool, remarkably, had four players including Alisson Becker and Mo Salah finish in the top seven as candidates to win the prestigious award.
The Final Four:
4th: Sadio Mane
3rd: Cristiano Ronaldo
2nd: Virgil van Dijk
1st: Lionel Messi
Last year’s winner, Luka Modric, upset the predominance established by Ronaldo and Messi who together had won 10 of the last 11 titles. But if this year is any indication, the more things change, the more they stay the same — especially if Messi and Ronaldo are still lacing them up.