'The GOAT?': Messi secures record sixth Ballon d'Or as Ronaldo snubs ceremony

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

Lionel Messi has overtaken Ronaldo’s haul and stands alone at the pinnacle of football after winning his sixth Ballon d’Or award.

The Barcelona maestro received the award from last year’s winner Luka Modric - who broke a 10-year dominance of Ronaldo and Messi - and reclaimed the award for the first time since 2015.

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Messi finished on top ahead of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus’ Ronaldo in the standings.

Ronaldo’s third place is his lowest ranking since he failed to make the podium in 2010. The Portuguese forward also failed to attend the award ceremony.

Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon D'or award. (AP)

This year's victor finished astonishingly fifth in last term's rankings and has come back with a vengeance this time around, producing a typically outstanding year in front of goal for Barca, hitting 40 strikes this calendar year and registering a further 17 assists to boot.

The forward did so in just 3516 minutes on the field, putting his club tally at slightly better than a goal or assist every 61.7 minutes.

He also claimed a tenth La Liga trophy and a Supercopa de Espana but was denied in the final of the Copa del Rey and was on the wrong end of a 4-0 battering at Anfield that saw Liverpool eventually go on to claim the Champions League title.

Messi did finish as the top scorer in both the Champions League and La Liga and has already picked up another individual prize in the form of FIFA's 'The Best' Men's award.

Former footballers and fans on social media heaped praise on the man many consider to be the best ever.

He was unable, however, to inspire his country to silverware at the Copa America, being forced to settle for third place after losing to Brazil in the semi-finals before beating Chile in the playoff.

Liverpool defender Van Dijk finished second, with team-mates Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane coming in at seventh, fifth and fourth, respectively, as the Reds lifted the Champions League and came within a point of winning their first Premier League trophy, losing just one league game all season.

With Goal.com