Argentina footballer Lionel Messi claimed the Ballon d’Or award for the fifth time at Kongresshaus in Zurich on Monday.
Messi was named world player of the year 2015 after receiving 41.33% of the vote, Real Madrid forward Ronaldo finished second with 27.76% and Barca’s Neymar got 7.86% to claim the third spot.
The Barcelona forward won the most prestigious award in the football world ahead of rival Ronaldo, who walked off with the prize for the previous two years. Messi helped Barca win a Spanish league, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble plus the Club World Cup and also led Argentina to the FIFA World Cup Final in 2014.
“It is incredible, much more than anything I dreamed of as a kid,” said the Ballon d’Or winner. “I want to thank my team mates, without them none of this would have been possible.”
The Argentine international Messi was part of the supreme Barcelona side, who won five of the six trophies on offer in 2015. The 28-year-old footballer was back on the big stage after watching Ronaldo at the receiving end for the two consecutive years. Rosario-native scored 52 goals for club and country as well as setting up another 26 for his team mates.
The Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo had fabulous year individually, scoring 57 goals and serving 17 assists in a calendar year. Despite of great season, Ronaldo had a little chance to complete a hat-trick as Real Madrid failed to win silverware. Los Blancos finished second just two points behind the Catlan club in the domestic league and lost Champions League semi-final.
Since 2007, the world player of the year has become a duopoly affair as two megastars Messi and Ronaldo have lifted the trophy in rotations. The Brazilian midfielder Ricardo Kaka was the last winner not to be called Ronaldo or Messi. Even that year Messi finished second and Ronaldo third. IMAGE/FIFA