Lionel Messi moves one step ahead of Ronaldo with sixth Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has won a record 6th Ballon d’Or on Monday evening after another impressive year for the Argentine.
Although Barcelona collapsed at the end of last season and Argentina lost to Brazil in the semi-finals of the Copa America, he was ever-present throughout 2019 for his club and his country, which has now made him the most awarded player in the history of the game’s most prestigious individual prize.
In 54 appearances, the Argentine managed an amazing 46 goals and 17 assists for club and country, which included three hat-tricks and seven doubles.
Messi’s first season as captain brought a 3rd consecutive La Liga title, although he promised to bring back the Champions League glory to Nou Camp
He also received his sixth Pichichi Trophy as the league top scorer, scoring 36 goals in 34 matches.
Barcelona were on top when they beat Liverpool 3-1, with Messi scoring a brace, but lost 4-0 at Anfield and the club crashed out in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Valencia then beat them in the final of the Copa del Rey, although the Barca captain tap-in what proved to be only a consolation goal.
Messi scored his 50th career hat-trick in a 4-2 victory at Sevilla. In April, he recorded another hat-trick that began with a free-kick into the top corner and then ended with a sweeping chip from the edge of the area that even Real Betis fans felt compelled to applaud the little magician.
He finished 2019 Champions League as top scorer, scoring 12 goals and picking his 6th Golden Shoe for a record 3rd consecutive year.
Messi joined his Argentina teammates for the Copa America, a tournament that kickstarted a frustrating three months for the Barca forward.
Messi was sent off in the third-place play-off against Chile, and his comments about the refereeing got him a three-month suspension from international football.
A return to Spain did not offer any respite, Messi suffered a calf injury on the first day of pre-season followed by a thigh strain, which kept him out from playing regularly until October.
Upon coming back, he scored six goals in five games and then a hat-trick against Celta Vigo. It was his La Liga 34th hat-trick, matching Ronaldo’s record in the Spanish top division.
He reached another milestone last week when his goal and two assists in a 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund coincided with his 700th appearance for the Catalan giant. On Sunday, his only goal was enough for Barcelona to take all the points at Atletico Madrid.

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