Messi bags fifth Ballon d’Or award

Argentina and Barcelona footballer voted world’s best player ahead of Ronaldo and Neymar.

The FIFA FIFPro World XI: Neuer, Silva, Marcelo, Ramos, Alves, Iniesta, Modric, Pogba, Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo [AFP]
The FIFA FIFPro World XI: Neuer, Silva, Marcelo, Ramos, Alves, Iniesta, Modric, Pogba, Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo [AFP]

Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi was named world player of the year 2015 at a FIFA gala in Zurich and claimed the Ballon d’Or trophy for the fifth time overall.

Messi reclaimed the award after watching his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo walk off with the prize for the previous two years.

The Argentine, who finished ahead of Ronaldo and Brazil forward Neymar, had previously won it four years in a row from 2009 to 2012.

Last 10 Ballon Dór winners
2015 – Lionel Messi
2014 – Cristiano Ronaldo 
2013 – Cristiano Ronaldo
2012 – Lionel Messi 
2011 – Lionel Messi 
2010 – Lionel Messi 
2009 – Lionel Messi 
2008 – Cristiano Ronaldo 
2007 – Kaka 
2006 – Fabio Cannavaro

Messi helped Barcelona to win a Spanish league title, cup and Champions League treble plus the Club World Cup and also led Argentina to the Copa America final, where they lost to Chile on penalties.

“It’s incredible, much more than anything I dreamed of as a kid,” said Messi as he received the award.

“I want to thank my team mates. Without them none of this would have been possible.”

Barcelona’s Luis Enrique was voted coach of the year.

US World Cup winner Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the final against Japan, was named women’s player of the year.

Ronaldo ended last season without a trophy with Real Madrid, although he helped Portugal to qualify for Euro 2016.

Neymar won a treble alongside Messi at Barcelona but had a less happy time with Brazil, receiving a four-match international ban after he was sent off during the Copa America.

Carli Lloyd, right, had scored a hat-trick in the Women’s World Cup final [AFP]

Blatter was replaced by acting president Issa Hayatou who played a low-key role, reading a brief speech before the start of the ceremony and appearing on stage when the awards for best player and women’s player were presented.

2015 winners

FIFA Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi

FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year: Carli Lloyd

FIFA Puskás Award: Wendell Lira

FIFA World Coach of the Year (Men’s): Luis Enrique

FIFA World Coach of the Year (Women’s): Jill Ellis

FIFA FIFPro World XI: Neuer, Silva, Marcelo, Ramos, Alves, Iniesta, Modric, Pogba, Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo

FIFA Fair Play Award: All football organisations supporting refugees

Source : News Agencies

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