After ten years of taking his first Ballon d'Or, Messi won this award again.
Lionel Messi during a game of FC Barcelona. / Photo: EFE
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
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Leer en español: Lionel Messi se lleva su sexto Balón de Oro
On December 1, 2009, the Argentine took his first Ballon d'Or, after having an excellent season with the club that has always supported him: FC Barcelona. At that time, Cristiano Ronaldo was also nominated, who was in second place, and from that day they would become two of the most important players of the decade.
Well, ten years later, "La Pulga" again had the title that many soccer players aspire to have: the Golden Ball. On this occasion, he left Cristiano Ronaldo behind again, and with this new title, he managed to eliminate the tiebreaker among the number of trophies won between both of the players because until 2018 they both had five. Now the Argentine takes him an advantage prize.
Cristiano Ronaldo shone by his absence, because the Portuguese could not attend the awards, he probably knew that he was not going to be awarded the prize, since his season has not been on par with that of the Argentine. In addition, the Dutch defender and one of Liverpool's stars, Virgil van Dijk, had also sounded like a favorite, due to his perseverance as a defender, which left him in second place.
During his acceptance speech, the Argentine thanked the journalists who voted for him, "my colleagues in Barcelona and the national team." He also said he was about to retire from football since he said “I am aware of my age and the withdrawal is approaching. I still have several more years left but time flies,” as La Vanguardia recalls.
In this way, the Argentine showed that his talent and commitment are still valid not only to reap more titles as Barcelona striker but to win others with the national team, because in Messi's words, “this Ballon d'Or is at a special moment of my life. I never think about these individual awards. I prefer to win the Copa América.”
This is how Messi took his sixth award and from LatinAmerican Post we show you who were the winners of this ceremony.
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Best female footballer
The American Megan Rapinoe won the Golden Ball award in the women's category; the soccer player conquered the women's World Cup along with the United States national team. Upon receiving the award, Rapinoe thanked "my club and teammates, who made me spend a great year (...) Obviously they are part of this recognition," in statements collected by BBC.
Rapinoe becomes the second woman to be awarded this award since the prize exists since 2018. Norway's Ada Hegerberg, Olympique Lyon striker, was the first to receive it.
The prize for the best goalkeeper, an award given for the first time in this edition, went to Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The Brazilian finished 2019 full of triumphs, since he conquered the Champions League, the European Super Cup and the Copa América with Brazil, as Marca recalls.
Becker was the big favorite since he was “the least goal scorer of the 2018-19 Premier League, with only 22 goals conceded in 38 games (in 21 of them he left his fence undefeated),” according to Goal. In addition, the Brazilian had already won the “The Best” award for best goalkeeper, an award from FIFA.
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Another of the prizes awarded is the one given to the best youth under-21. The award was given to the Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt, thus succeeding the Frenchman Kilyan Mbappé. The defender, who left Ajax and who now plays in Serie A with Juventus, had an excellent performance in the Dutch team since despite his young age he led Ajax to the semifinals of the Champions League.
There is no doubt that the Dutchman has a bright future not only for winning this award but because in the classification of the Golden Ball he was fifteenth. De Ligit now focuses on the European Championship next year, with the help of a Dutch team that has been reborn.