Lionel Messi wins Record fifth Ballon d’Or award


Lionel Messi has been named the world’s best footballer for a record fifth time. Messi won the FIFA Ballon d’Or ahead of Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 28-year-old claimed the 2015 award – voted for by a panel of journalists, international coaches and captains – at the annual ceremony in Zurich on Monday evening.

Messi earned 41.33 per cent of the votes, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo with 27.76 per cent and Neymar with 7.86 per cent.

“This is a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage again winning another Ballon d’Or,” Messi said upon receiving the award.

“It’s incredible that it’s my fifth and is much more than anything I could have dreamed of as a kid. I want to thank all those who voted for me first of all. I also want to thank my team-mates, as I always say none of this would ever have been possible without them.

“And lastly, I want to thank football in general for everything it has brought me, both the bad and the good, because it has made me grow and learn always.”

Messi won the best player in the world award for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012 before being pipped to the title by Ronaldo in 2013 and 2014.

The Argentinian had another stellar year in 2015 where he scored 53 goals in 56 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona. He also inspired Argentina to the Copa America final, where they were beaten by Chile on penalties.

Luis Enrique got the coach of the year award for the men’s game after guiding Barcelona to the treble in his first season in charge. The 45-year-old also led Barcelona to the UEFA Super Cup at the beginning of the season after a 5-4 win over Sevilla in August’s final in Tblisi.

Brazilian Wendell Lira won the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of 2015 for his stunning overhead kick for Goianesia against Atletico-GO.

Carli Lloyd was named FIFA Women’s World player of the year after captaining USA to 2015 Women’s World Cup glory, scoring a 13-minute hat-trick in the final – including one from the halfway line – to finish as the tournament’s joint top goalscorer.

English born Jill Ellis got the FIFA Women’s World Coach of the year award after guiding USA to their third World Cup win at Canada 2015, 15 months after succeeding Tom Sermanni as USA boss.

The FIFA World X1 included: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich); Thiago Silva (PSG), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos, (Real Madrid), Dani Alves (Barcelona); Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Juventus); Neymar (Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

A list of all Ballon d’Or winners since the first award in 1956:

1956: Stanley Matthews (ENG)
1957: Alfredo Di Stefano (ESP)
1958: Raymond Kopa (FRA)
1959: Alfredo Di Stefano (ESP)
1960: Luis Suarez (ESP)
1961: Omar Sivori (ITA)
1962: Josef Masopust (CZE)
1963: Lev Yachine (USSR)
1964: Denis Law (SCO)
1965: Eusebio (POR)
1966: Bobby Charlton (ENG)
1967: Florian Albert (HUN)
1968: George Best (NIR)
1969: Gianni Rivera (ITA)
1970: Gerd Müller (GER)
1971: Johan Cruyff (NED)
1972: Franz Beckenbauer (GER)
1973: Johan Cruyff (NED)
1974: Johan Cruyff (NED)
1975: Oleg Blokhine (URSS)
1976: Franz Beckenbauer (GER)
1977: Alan Simonsen (DEN)
1978: Kevin Keegan (ENG)
1979: Kevin Keegan (ENG)
1980: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (GER)
1981: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (GER)
1982: Paolo Rossi (ITA)
1983: Michel Platini (FRA)
1984: Michel Platini (FRA)
1985: Michel Platini (FRA)
1986: Igor Belanov (USSR)
1987: Ruud Gullit (NED)
1988: Marco van Basten (NED)
1989: Marco van Basten (NED)
1990: Lothar Matthäus (GER)
1991: Jean-Pierre Papin (FRA)
1992: Marco van Basten (NED)
1993: Roberto Baggio (ITA)
1994: Hristo Stoïchkov (BUL)
1995: George Weah (LBR)
1996: Matthias Sammer (GER)
1997: Ronaldo (BRA)
1998: Zinédine Zidane (FRA)
1999: Rivaldo (BRA)
2000: Luis Figo (POR)
2001: Michael Owen (ENG)
2002: Ronaldo (BRA)
2003: Pavel Nedved (CZE)
2004: Andrei Shevchenko (UKR)
2005: Ronaldinho (BRA)
2006: Fabio Cannavaro (ITA)
2007: Kaka (BRA)
2008: Cristiano Ronaldo (POR)
2009: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2010: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2011: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2012: Lionel Messi (ARG)
2013: Cristiano Ronaldo (POR)
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo (POR)
2015: Lionel Messi (ARG)

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