10 years since Messi won his first Ballon DOr

Thursday, 05 Dec, 2019

The biggest names in world football will descend on Paris tomorrow for the 2019 Ballon d'Or ceremony, with Lionel Messi and U.S. women's World Cup superstar Megan Rapinoe tipped to leave with the honours.

The Barcelona number 10 previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012 before claiming his fifth Ballon d'Or in 2015.

Messi was given the coveted award during a ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, defeating Juventus' Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.

"I realize that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will come. I hope I will continue for a long time", Messi told reporters.

"I would vote for the best, obviously. And I want to work hard and be here again next year".

"I have never stopped dreaming and enjoying football like when I was a child".

"I said that the real Juve will be seen at least from January".

Atleti dominated the opening exchanges of the match and were unlucky not to walk away with any reward, but Barca coach Ernesto Valverde insisted afterwards that having a player like Messi in the team often makes the difference. I'm proud of what I've achieved with Liverpool and Holland.

Bronze has picked Rapinoe to win the award.

The award is named after Raymond Kopa, the Real Madrid and France star of the post-war era who won the Ballon d'Or in 1958.

As the football season reaches the halfway stage, it's time for us to switch our attention to the Ballon d'Or, the 64th edition of which takes place in Paris on Monday.

Norway's Ada Hegerberg won it in 2018 but will not retain her title after missing the World Cup. It's absolutely incredible congrats to the other nominees.

"I want to thank my teammates and the United States federation".

She won the Golden Boot for top scorer, with six goals, and Golden Ball for best player.

Notably, Lionel Messi had also bagged The Best FIFA award earlier in the year and went on to claim the Ballon d'Or on Monday.

There was no trophy on offer for the best female under-21 player or keeper.