Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or 2019 for his phenomenal form last season. He edged past the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the accolade after four years. This was Messi’s sixth Ballon d’Or which is more than any other player in the world.
While speaking to France Football, Lionel Messi admitted that he was hurt when his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo had equalled his tally of five Ballon d’Ors in 2017. Messi had won his fifth Ballon d’Or back in 2015 after winning a treble with Barcelona. He admitted that Ronaldo won all these awards deservedly.
Cristiano Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or in 2008 after winning the Champions League with Manchester United. However, after moving to Real Madrid a year later, he could not win any for the next four years. Messi won it consecutively from 2009 to 2012. The Portuguese then won his second and third Ballon d’Or in 2013 and 2014 respectively, until Messi clinched it again in 2015 after winning the domestic treble.
Cristiano Ronaldo was back at the Ballon d’Or podium after winning the Champions League and Euro 2016, taking his rally to four Ballon d'Or. Messi confessed that it was painful to see Ronaldo equalling his tally. He admitted that it was painful to know that he was no longer alone at the top. That said, he added that Ronaldo deserved to win the Ballon d’Or for his performances and there wasn’t much the Argentine could have done about it.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shared five Ballon d’Ors each for a complete decade. Their dominance was thought to have ended when Luka Modric edged past Messi and Ronaldo after having a great World Cup campaign with Croatia last season. However, Messi’s recent win has revived the 'G.O.A.T' debate.