Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi have claimed sixth times Ballon d’Or in Paris on Monday night ahead of Liverpool Van Dijk and Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Barcelona forward 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 Portuguese claiming the two subsequent gongs and Luka Modric surprisingly picking up the accolade last year to end the 10-year dominance of the two footballing icons.
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.
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.
Cristiano Ronaldo was left in third place – his lowest ranking since failing to make the podium in 2010. His calendar year remains impressive, but his numbers fall short of the exceedingly high standards the 34-year-old has set over the years