…And the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or goes to Lionel Messi

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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Lionel Messi with Carli Lloyd at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala yesterday.
Image: Marcelo Brandão/ABr.

Yesterday, Argentina and FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi won the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or in the FIFA event, hosted in Zürich, Switzerland. Ballon d’Or is an annual award to the best player of the year via voting.

Messi along with his Barcelona teammate Neymar and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo were short listed by FIFA back in November. Having won five major trophies in the 2015 calendar year, which included the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup in December in Japan against an Argentine club River Plate in which he scored the first goal, Messi won 41.33% votes in the Gala.

Previous years’ winner Ronaldo secured 27.76% of votes, and Messi’s teammate Neymar won 7.86%. 2007 Ballon d’Or winner and former Brazilian player Kaká announced the winner of the Gala. Messi made 61 appearances for his club and the country in 2015, and scored 52 goals. He also provided 26 assists. With these stats, he also scored in each of the six tournaments.

In the ceremony, Messi said “It’s a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after seeing Cristiano win it…” “It’s incredible that it’s my fifth. Much more than anything I would have dreamed of as a kid.”((es))

Messi previously won the La Liga best player of the year and UEFA Best Player in Europe Award with 49 votes out of 54, leaving behind his teammate Luis Suárez and Ronaldo who got three and two votes respectively. He also gathered a silver medal in the 2015 Copa América when Argentina lost to the hosts Chile over penalties.

Messi previously won the award for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012. Ronaldo and Messi have won the trophy for the past eight years and Neymar became the first Brazilian to be in the top three after 2007, when Kaká won in ahead of Ronaldo and Messi.

Messi had voted for his teammates Neymar, Suárez, and Andrés Iniesta; Neymar voting for Messi, Suárez, and Ivan Rakitić. Neymar at the ceremony said “It is a dream for me to be here, it’s a victory”.

Cquote1.svg It’s incredible that it’s my fifth. Much more than anything I would have dreamed of as a kid.((es))
—Lionel Messi

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