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Sport Lionel Messi wins record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or, and he's always the right choice

23:05  02 december  2019
23:05  02 december  2019 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

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Lionel Messi has been awarded the 2019 Ballon d ’ Or by France Football for a record sixth time. Messi ’ s stranglehold on the golden began in 2009, which is when he claimed the treble under Pep Guardiola and then went on an unprecedented run of four straight wins that was interrupted by

Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini[note 1] (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾez ˈmesi] ( listen);[A] born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a At 22 years old, Messi won the 2009 Ballon d ' Or and the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year award by record voting margins.

The trouble with giving out a prize for the best soccer player of the year is that when the greatest, by some distance, to ever bestride a field is among them, it all becomes a bit monotonous and predictable.

a man wearing a glove: Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday to break a tie with Cristiano Ronaldo for most all time. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday to break a tie with Cristiano Ronaldo for most all time. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Back in June, Virgil van Dijk sat on the podium for a postgame press conference, his jersey still wet, his long hair frizzy and his Champions League winner’s medal dangling around his neck. He explained casually why he didn’t think he should win any of the prizes for the world’s best player of the season or the year, never mind the campaign he’d just had as the world’s top defender – weeks before he’d lead the Netherlands to the final of the inaugural UEFA Nations League as well. To him, there simply wasn’t any debate to be had.

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Lionel Messi has won the 2019 Ballon d ' Or awardCredit: EPA. USA World Cup hero Megan Rapinoe won the women' s award. And Juventus star Matthijs De Ligt won the young players Kopa award. The Argentine arrived at the glitzy bash alongside his wife and kids. And they all looked thrilled as Chelsea

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi claimed a record sixth Ballon d ' Or in Paris on Monday night ahead of Liverpool' s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano The Argentine moved one clear of Ronaldo after the pair had been locked on five awards each as he reclaimed the title he last won in 2015, with the

I think Messi is the best player in the world,” he said of a man who’d won nothing but a domestic league title that season. “I think he deserves it as long as he plays. So the Ballon d’Or is not something I’m thinking of.

“If it happens, by any chance, then obviously I would take it,” van Dijk continued. “But I don’t think there’s any case. I think he’s still the best player in the world. It doesn’t matter if he’s not in the Champions League final.”

This is all true.

Sure enough, Lionel Messi wasn’t in the Champions League final, for a fourth season in a row, but won the Ballon d’Or on Monday anyway. The prize completed his sweep of the major individual awards, adding to the Best FIFA Men’s Player prize he collected in September. The 32-year-old Argentine, who has only ever represented FC Barcelona and Argentina at the adult level, has now been the unanimous world player of the year a record six times, going back ahead of his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Virgil van Dijk may lose out on the Ballon d ’ Or to Barcelona' s Lionel Messi , but the Liverpool man insists there A leaked document shows Messi winning the award for a record sixth time, pipping Van However the Dutch centre-half won ’t be upset if the document proves accurate, as he believes

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d ' Or award for the world' s best player for a record sixth time. It is the 32-year-old Argentine' s first Ballon d ' Or since 2015 and comes after he scored 54 times for club and country in 2018-19, in which Barca won La Liga.

Messi won the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year or the re-branded Best FIFA Men’s Player trophies, whether separately or in their consolidated version, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and, now, 2019. Ronaldo claimed them in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. In 2018, their hegemony was briefly and controversially interrupted by Luka Modric.

And that Ronaldo and Modric won the prizes over Messi at all speaks to the central tension in giving an individual award in a game that’s as much a team sport as any other, if not more so. Historically, the prize tends to go to whatever player was central in the teams that won the biggest prizes. And that was true for Ronaldo and Modric, whose Real Madrid dominated Europe for a half decade. Ronaldo led Portugal to the title at Euro 2016 and Modric engineered Croatia’s surprise run to the 2018 World Cup final.

But the default is Messi.

It always comes back to Messi, who on Sunday played the 701st professional top-tier game of his career and bagged 614th goal, to go with 239 assists, to beat Atletico Madrid yet again. He has also scored 70 goals for Argentina, far more than any other man.

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Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi claimed a record sixth Ballon d ' Or in Paris on Monday night ahead of Liverpool' s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo. The Argentine moved one clear of Ronaldo after the pair had been locked on five awards each as he reclaimed the title he last won in

Messi , 32, is tipped to win a record sixth Ballon d ' Or in Paris on Monday after enjoying another stellar year. Valverde wasn't the only Barcelona official to shower Messi with praise this week, as club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said he has no doubt that Messi is the greatest player of all time.

The best player of the year is Messi every year. And that’s been true since he hit his prime a decade ago. He is the best ever. And while Ronaldo is a genius in his own right – and surely the second-best to ever play, burdened only by the misfortune of coming along at the exact same time and being largely overshadowed by the much smaller and humbler Messi – it’s telling that, in four of the five times he won the trophy, it was in a year he won the Champions League, in 2008, 2014, 2016 and 2017. While Modric did the same in 2018.

Only three of Messi’s six individual crowns coincided with Champions League victories.

Which is to say that even for the transcendent Ronaldo to beat Messi, he usually had to combine his otherworldly production with major team silverware. That was the only way to threaten Messi, to justify taking away the prize he seemed born to claim again and again, and hand it to somebody else. Sometimes it felt a little like the voters just wanted to mix it up.

Because the best is Messi. The best has been Messi for year after year after year. When you go by pure skill, by influence on his team and nation and the sport, by total prize haul, by goals, by immutability, by unstoppability, by consistency, by sheer Messi-ness, it’s Messi.

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You might even argue that he’s won the prize as the world’s best player six times and been robbed another other four. But he wasn’t robbed this year. He got what he was entitled to.

And it’s no less right and just for being boring and predictable.

Leander Schaerlaeckens is a Yahoo Sports soccer columnist and a sports communication lecturer at Marist College. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.

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Watch: Josh Gordon with catch of the NFL season .
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon entered the first half of Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers with the catch of the NFL season as Gordon hauled in a 58-yard pass from Russell Wilson. JOSH GORDON.A fingertip catch for 59 yards! @Josh_GordonXII@DangeRussWilson: FOX: NFL app // Yahoo Sports appWatch free on mobile: https://t.co/ALWDCpltogpic.twitter.com/XSBjE7WGBP— NFL (@NFL) December 15, 2019That has to be up there as the catch of the NFL season. One-handed. Diving. What concentration. What ball skills. Absolutely amazing stuff from Gordon.

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