EDGING out Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar in the final vote Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or for a record fifth time at a glitzy ceremony in Zurich on Monday January 11.
The Argentine international and dominant Barcelona forward had scored 48 times for his club in the 2015 calendar year, which also saw the Catalan club secure five titles.
“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.”
Real Madrid’s Ronaldo, had won the prestigious world player of the year award in 2013 and 2014, while Messi himself claimed four consecutive triumphs from 2009-2012.
This year the 28-year-old won 41.33 per cent of the vote, with the Portuguese Ronaldo securing 27.76 per cent, and Messi’s Brazilian teammate Neymar unusually adding a third party into the mix with 7.86 per cent.
The award ceremony also saw Barcelona’s Luis Enrique named coach of the year, while Atletico Goianiense’s Wendell Lira won the Puskas award for best goal.
National team coaches and captains, and selected journalists vote for their top three in all the categories, including team of the year, with different points for first preference, second and third, and the winner receiving the most points.
The FIFA World XI were named as Neuer, Silva, Marcelo, Ramos, Alves, Iniesta, Modric, Pogba, Messi, Neymar, and Ronaldo. The omission of Luis Suarez prevented a clean sweep of the forward line-up by Barcelona.