Messi broke away from Ronaldo in historical charts: He won a gold ball six times!
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PARIS - Argentine football player Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona has won a record six times the Golden Ball of France Football magazine. In the 64th year of voting, he beat other finalists Cristian Ronald, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane.
Thirty-two-year-old Messi took up the triumphs of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 at the Chatelet Theater in Paris on Monday and became first at the top in historical order. Since his previous success, he has twice placed second behind Ronaldo, last year he did not fit in the top three for the first time since 2006.
Croatia's defending champion Luka Modrič, who interrupted the decade of Messi or Ronald's victories, was absent from the thirty-member nomination. Its half was made up of footballers from the highest English competition, including Van Dijk, who was not the first defender with this trophy in 13 years. FC Liverpool had four players in the top ten.
The Barcelona striker won the second prestigious award this year, winning the International Football Federation (FIFA) Player of the Year poll in September. Van Dijk was named the best player by the European Football Union (UEFA). "I thank the journalists who voted for me and wanted me to receive this award. A big thank you also goes to the club's colleagues, who contributed significantly to this success," Messi said after taking the sixth Golden Ball from Modric's hands.
Dutch stopper Matthijs de Ligt, who moved from Ajax Amsterdam to Juventus Turin in the summer, won the Raymond Kop award for the best footballer under 21. It was taken from Kylian Mbappe, the French striker became its premier holder last year. For the first time, they were awarded the Lev Yashin Prize for the best goalkeeper, earned it by Brazilian Alisson Becker from FC Liverpool. American Megan Rapinoe triumphed in women category.
France Football Gold Ball - Top 10:
1. Lionel Messi (Arg./FC Barcelona)
2. Virgil van Dijk (Ned./FC Liverpool)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portug./Juventus Turin)
4. Sadio Mane (Sen./FC Liverpool)
5. Mohamed Salah (Eg. / Liverpool)
6. Kylian Mbappe (Fr./Paris St. Germain
7. Alisson Becker (Bra. / FC Liverpool)
8. Robert Lewandowski (POL. / Bayern Munich)
9. Bernardo Silva (Portug. / Manchester City)
10. Riyad Mahrez (Alg. / Manchester City)
Women's Golden Ball: Megan Rapinoe (USA / FC Reign)
Lev Yasin Award (for Goalies): Alisson Becker (Braz./FC Liverpool)
Raymond Kopu Award (for players under 21): Matthijs de Light (Ned./Juventus Turin)